Skip to main content

Full text of "Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources;"

See other formats








Cornell University Library 
DS 592.W94 

Twentieth century impressions of British 

3 1924 023 134 368 .*.,.. 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 






Scale of Statute Miles' 
10 2C 30 40 y> cp 

Moj/ways Open. 

f^ai/woiJb undet Construction 


1^2° I 


i^tomtktlj Cmtur^ Impr^gsinns 


ritiab JEala^a 


Editor in Chief: ARNOLD WRIGHT (London). 
ASSISTANT Editor: H. A. CARTWRIGHT (Singapore). 






\f\i -U>L:l7o 






HIS work is ihc outcome of an enterprise licsignal to liivc in an altrachve Jonii full 
and reliable information willi reference to the outlying parts of the Empire. The 
value of a fuller knowledge of the '■ Britains beyond ttic Sea" and ttie great depen- 
dencies of the Croivn as a means of tiglitening the bonds which unite the component 
parts of the King's dominions was insisted upon by Mr. Chamberlain in a memorable 
speech, and the same note ran through the Prince of Wales's impressive Mansion 
House address in which His Royal Highness summed up the lessons of his lour through 
the Empire, from ivhicli he had Hum fust returned. In some instances, notably in 
the case of Canada, the local Governments have done much to difluse in a popular form infoi niation relative 
to the territory which they administer. But there are other centres in wliich olficial enteifrise in this direction 
has not been possible, or, at all events, in wliich action has not been taken, and it is in this prolilic Held lliat 
the publishers are working. So far tliev have found ample fustijication for tlicir labours in the widespread 
public interest taken in their operations in the colonies which have been the scene of Hair ivork, and in the 
extremely cordial reception given by the Press, both home and colonial, to ttie completed results. 

Briefly, the aim which the publishers keep steadily before Hi em is to give a perfect microcosm of the colony 
or dependency treated. As old Stow with patient application and scrupulous regard tor accuracy set himself to 
survey the London of his day, so the workers employed in tlie production of this scries endeavour to give a picture, 
complete in every particular, of Hie distant possessions of the Croivn. Bui topography is only one of ttie features 
treated. Responding to modern needs and tastes, the literary investigators devote their attention to every important 
phase of life, bringing to the elucidation of the subjects treated the powerful aid of the latest and best metliods 
of pictorial illustration. Thus a work is compiled which is not only of solid iind enduring value for purposes of 
reference and for practical business objects, but is of unique interest to all who arc interested in Hie developnient 
of the Empire. 

Following closely upon Hie lines of Hie earlier works of Hie series on JVcslerii Australia, Xatat. and Ceylon, 
this volume deals e.yhaustively willi the liistory. administration, peoples, commerce, industries, and potentialities 
of the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States — territories ichich. though but comparatively little known 
hitherto, promise to become of very great commercial importance in the near future. By reason of their 


scattered nature, wide extent, undeveloped condition, and different systems of government, the adequate 
treatment of them has presented no little difficulty to the compilers. But neither trouble nor expense has been 
spared in the attempt to secure full and accurate information in every direction, and, wherever possible, the 
services of recognised experts have been enlisted. The general historical matter has been written after an 
exhaustive study of the original records at the India Office, and it embodies information which throws a new 
light upon some aspects of the early life of the Straits Settlements. For the facilities rendered in the prosecution 
of his researches and also for the sanction freely given to him to reproduce many original sketches and scarce 
prints in the splendid collection at the India Office Library, Whitehall, the Editor has to offer his thanks to ike 
India Council. In the Straits much valued assistance has been rendered by the heads of the various 
Government Departments, and the Editor is especially indebted to his Excellency Sir John Anderson, K.C.M.G., 
the Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States, who has 
given every possible encouragement to the enterprise. 

Obviously a work of this magnitude cannot be produced except at very considerable cost. As the publishers 
do not ask for any Government subsidy, because of the restrictions which it might impose upon them, this cost 
has to be met in part by receipts from the sale of copies and in part by revenue from the insertion of 
commercial photographs. The publishers venture to think that this fact furnishes no ground for adverse 
criticism. The principle is that adopted by the highest class of newspapers and magazines all over the world. 
Moreover, it is claimed that these photographs add to, rather than detract from, the value of the book. 
They serve to show the manifold interests of the country, and, with the accompanying descriptive letterpress, 
which is independently written by members of the staff from personal observation, they constitute a picturesque 
and useful feature thai is not without interest to the general reader and student of economics, while it is of 
undoubted value to business men throughout the British Empire. 

November, 1907. 


The Straits Settlements. By Arnold Wright — 

Early History ■ • ...... 

Singapore .... .... . . 


Malacca . ..... .... . . 

The Federated Malay States. By Arnold Wright (with chapters on the early history 

of the Malays and the Portuguese and Dutch Periods by R. J. Wilkinson, Secretary 

to the Resident of Perak) ........ .... 

Christmas Island, the Cocos-Keeling Islands, and Labuan . ... 

The Present Day .... ... . . 

List of Governors and High Commissioners 

Constitution and Law 

State Finance . . .... 

Opium . ... 

Gambling and Spirits . . . . 

Exports, Imports, and Shipping. By A. Stuart, Registrar of Imports and Exports, 

Straits Settlements . . .... 

Harbours and Lighthouses . . ..... 

Social Life .... . . 

The Population of Malaya. By Mrs. Reginald Sanderson 

The Malays of British Malay'a. By B. O. Stoney, Hon. Sec. of the Malay Settlement, 

Kuala Lunipor . . . ■ ... 

Malay Literature. By R. J. Wilkinson ... . . 

Native Arts and Handicrafts. By L. Wray, I.S.O., M.I.E.E., F.Z.S., M.R.P.S., etc., 

Director of Museums, Federated Malay States . 
Health and Hospitals . 

Press. By W. Makepeace . . . . 

Education. By J. B. Elcum, B.A. Oxon., Director of Public Instruction, Straits Settlements 

and Federated Malay States 
Religion .... ... . . . 

Police. By Captain W. A. Cuscaden, Inspector-General of Police, Straits Settlements, and 

Captain H. L. Tal,bot, Commissioner of Police, Federated Malay States 
Prisons . . ... 

Railways . . . . . 

/ Public Works . 

Posts, Telegraphs, and Telephones .... 

Forests of Malaya. By A. M. Burn-Murdoch, Conservator of Forests, Federated Malay 

States and Straits Settlements ... 












314 ^ 




Botany. By H. N. Ridley, M.A., F.R.S., F.L.S., F.R.H.S., etc., Director of the Botanical 
Gardens^ Singapore . . .... 

Agriculture. By R. Derry', Assistant Superintendent, Botanical Gardens, Singapore . 

Rubber. By J. B. Carruthers, F.R.S.E., F.L.S., Director of Agriculture and Government 
Botanist, Federated Malay States . . .... ... 

Coconut Cultivation. By L. C. Brown, Inspector of Coconut Plantations, Federated Malay 

The Pineapple Industry 


Fisheries . 

Meteorology .... 

Geology. By J. B. Scrivenor, Government Geologist, Federated Malay States 

Sport. By Theodore R. Hubback 

Military . 

The Straits Settle.ments — 


The Federated Malay States — 
Kuala Lumpor 
Negri Sambilan 


Social and Professional 

Indfstrial . 

Commercial ... 

Fauna. By H. C. Robinson, Curator, Selangor Museum 
Information for Tourists 
Concluding Note 
Index . 




599 .r 



iritislj ^ala^a: 


?? Q -^ 



bi 9 d^ 

liW of the oversea pos- 
sessions of the Crown, 
outside India and the 
great self - governing 
colonies, can compare in 
interest and importance 
with the Straits Settle- 
ments. They are situ- 
ated in a region which 
Nature has marked out as one of the great 
strategic centres of the world alilce for pur- 
poses of war and of commerce. "Within its 
narrowest limits," wrote the gifted statesman ' 
to whom Britain owes the possession to-day of 
the most important unit of this magnificent 
group of colonies, " it embraces the whole of 
the vast Archipelago which, stretching from 
Sumatra and Java to the Islands of the Pacific 
and thence to the shores of China and Japan, 
has in all ages excited the attention and 
attracted the cupidity of more civilised nations; 
an area whose valuable and peculiar produc- 
tions contributed to swell the extravagance of 
Roman luxury, and one which in more modern 
times has raised the power and consequence 

' Sir T. Stamford Raffles, " Memoir on the Adminis- 
tration of the Eastern Islands," in Lady Raffles's 
" Memoir of SirT. Stamford RafHes," Appendix L, 25. 


of every successive European nation into whose 
hands its commerce has fallen ; and which, 
further, perhaps in its earliest period among 
the Italian States, communicated the first 
electric spark which awoke to life the energies 
and the literature of Europe." 

England's interest in this extensive region 
dates back to the very dawn of her colonial 
history. The foundations of theexisting colonies 
were laid in "the spacious age " of Elizabeth, in 
the period following the defeat of the Spanish 
Armada, when the great Queen's reign was 
drawing to its splendid close in a blaze of 
triumphant commercial achievement. 

Drake carried the English flag through the 
Straits of Malacca in his famous circumnaviga- 
tion of the world in 1579. But it was left to 
another of the sturdy band of Elizabethan 
adventurers to take the first real step in the 
introduction of English influence into the 
archipelago. The Empire-builder who laid the 
corner-stone of the noble edifice of which we 
are treating was James Lancaster, a bluff old 
sailor who had served his apprenticeship in the 
first school of English seamanship of that or 
any other day. It is probable that he accom- 
panied Drake on his tour round the world : he 
certainly fought with him in the great struggle 

against the Armada. After that crowning vic- 
tory, when the seas were opened everywhere to 
vessels bearing the English flag, men's thoughts 
were cast towards that Eldorado of the East 
of which glowing accounts had been brought 
back by the early adventurers. Then was laid 
the corner-stone of the structure which, in pro- 
cess of time, developed into the mighty Eastern 
Empire of Britain. The first direct venture 
was the despatch of three small ships, with 
Lancaster as second in command, to the 
East. Quitting Plymouth on .\pril 10, 1591, 
these tiny vessels, mere cockboats compared 
with the leviathans which now traverse the 
ocean, after an adventurous voyage reached 
Pulo Pinang in June of the same year. The 
crews of the squadron were decimated by 
disease. On Lancaster's ship, the Edward 
Bonavcutnrc, there were left of a complement 
of upwards of a hundred " only 33 men and 
one boy, of which not past 22 were found for 
labour and help, and of them not past a third 
sailors." Nevertheless, after a brief sojourn 
Lancaster put to sea, and in August captured a 
small Portuguese vessel laden with pepper, 
another of 250 tons burthen, and a third of 750 
tons. \A'ith these valuable prizes the daring 
adventurer proceeded home, afterwards touch- 



ing at Point de Galle, in Ceylon, to recruit. 
The return voyage was marked by many 
thrilling episodes, but eventually the ships got 
safely to their destinations, though of the crew 
of 198 who had doubled the Cape only 25 
landed again in England. 

The terrible risks of the adventure were soon 
forgotten in the jubilation which was caused by 
the results achieved. These were of a char- 
acter to fire men's imaginations. On the one 
hand the voyagers had to show the valuable 
booty which they had captured from the Portu- 
guese ; on the other they were able to point to 
the breaking of the foreign monopoly of the 
lucrative Eastern trade which was implied in 
their success. The voyage marked an epoch 
in English commercial history. As a direct 

On June 5th following the fleet reached Achin. 
A most cordial reception awaited Lancaster at 
the hands of the King of Achin. The fame of 
England's victory over Spain had enormously 
enhanced her prestige in the Eastern world, 
and in Achin there was the greater disposition 
to show friendliness to the English because 
of the bitter enmity of the Achinese to the 
Portuguese, whose high-handed dealings had 
created a lively hatred of their rule. Lan- 
caster, who bore with him a letter from the 
Queen to the native potentate, seems to have 
been as clever a diplomat as he was able a 
sailor. The royal missive was conveyed to the 
native Court with great pomp. In delivering it 
with a handsome present, Lancaster declared 
that the purpose of his coming was to establish 


(Reproduced by permission of the Lords of the Admiralty from the picture in the Gallery at Greenwich Hospital.) 
Drake was the first EngUshman to navigate a ship through the Straits of Malacca. 

result of it followed the formation of the East 
India Company. The various steps which led 
up to that important event lie beyond the pro- 
vince of the present narrative. It is sufficient 
for the purposes in hand to note that when the 
time had come for action Lancaster was selected 
by the adventurers to command the Company's 
first fleet, and that he went out duly commisr 
sioned by the authority of the Queen as their 
Governor-General." Established in the Red 
Dragon, a ship of 600 tons burthen, and with 
three other vessels under his control, Lancaster 
sailed from Woolwich on February 13, 1600-1. 

" This point, which has been overlooked by man\- 
writers, is made clear by this entry to be found in 
the Hatfield Manuscripts (Historical Manuscripts 
Commission), Part xi. p. 18 : " i5oo-i, Jan. 24th. 
Letters patent to James Lancaster, chosen by the 
Governor and Company of the Merchants of London 
trading to the East Indies as their Governor-General. 
The Queen approves of their choice, and grants 
authority to Lancaster to exercise the office." 

peace and amity between his royal mistress and 
her loving brother the miglity King of Achin. 
Not to be outdone in courtesy, the Sumatran 
prince invited Lancaster and his officers to a 
magnificent banquet, in which the service was 
of gold, and at which the King's damsels, richly 
attired and adorned with jewellery, attended, 
and danced and sang for the guests' edification. 
The culminating feature of the entertainment 
was the investiture of Lancaster by the King 
with a splendid robe and the presentation to 
him of two kriscs — the characteristic weapon of 
Malaya, without which no honorific dress is 
considered complete by the Malays. What was 
more to the purpose than these honours, grati- 
fying as they were to the Englishmen, was the 
appointment of two nobles, one of whom was 
the chief priest, to settle with Lancaster the 
terms of a commercial treaty. The negotiations 
proceeded favourably, and in due course Lan- 

caster was able to congratulate h.mself on 
having secured for his country a formal and 
exp lick right to trade in Achin. The progress 
expncu iit,iiL watched with 

of events, meanwhile, was Demg w 
jealous anxiety by the Portugiiese who knew 
'that the intrusion of so formidable a rival as 
England into their sphere of influence boded ill 
for the future of their power. Attempts were 
actually made to sterilise the negotiations, but 
Lancaster was too well acquainted with Portu- 
guese wiles to be taken at a disadvantage. On 
the contrary, his skill enabled him to turn the 
Portuguese weapons against themselves. By 
bribing the spies sent to Achin he got informa- 
tion which led to the capture of a rich prize 
—a fully laden vessel of 900 tons— in the Straits 
of Malacca. Returning to Achin after this ex- 
pedition, Lancaster made preparations for the 
homeward voyage, loading his ships with 
pepper, then a costly commodity in England 
ovifing to the monopolising policy of the Portu- 
guese and the Spaniards. He seems to have 
continued to the end in high favour with the 
King. At the farewell interview the old monarch 
asked Lancaster and his officers to favour him 
by singing one of the Psalms of David. This 
singular request was complied with, the selec- ,; 
tionbeing given with much solemnity.' On Nov- 
ember 9, 1602, the Red Dragon weighed anchor I 
and proceeded to Bantam, where Lancaster % t| ' 
established a factory. A second trading estab- { ■ 
lishment was formed in the Moluccas. This done^ 
the Red Dragon, with two of the other vessels of 
the fleet, steered a course homeward. The little 
squadron encountered a terrible storm off the 
Cape, which nearly ended in disaster to the 
enterprise. Lancaster's good seamanship, how- 
ever, brought his vessels through the crisis 
safely. It says much for the indomitable spirit 
of the man that when the storm was at its 
height and his own vessel seemed on the point 
of foundering he wrote, for transmission by one 
of the other ships, a letter to his employers at 
home, assuring them that he would do his 
utmost to save the craft and its valuable cargo, 
and concluding with this remarkable sentence ; 
" The passage to the East Indies lies in 62 de- 
grees 30 minutes by the NW. on the America 
side."' Lancaster reached England on Septem- 
ber II, 1603. The country resounded with 
praises of his great achievement. Milton, as 
a boy, must have been deeply impressed with 
the episode, for it inspired some of his stateliest 
verse. Obvious references to Lancaster's voy- 
ages are to be found, as Sir George Birdwood 
has pointed out,3 in " Paradise Lost," in the 
poet's descriptions of Satan. Thus, in Book II. 
we have a presentment of the Evil One as he 

" Puts on swift wings and then soars 
Up to the fiery concave towering high 
As when far off at sea a fleet descried 
Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds 
Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles 
Of Ternate aud Tidore, whence merchants bring 
Their spicy drugs ; tliey on the trading flood 
Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape 
Ply, stemming nightly towards the Pole. 
So seemed far off the flying fiend." 

■ Marsden's " History of Sumatra," i. p. 436. 

= Hakluyt's " Principal Xavigations," ii. p. 2, 
1. 102. 

3 " Report on the Old Records of the East India 
Company," p. 205. 



And again in Book IV. : 

" So on he fares, and to the border comes 
Of Eden . . 
A sylvan scene . 
Of stateliest view . . 

. . able to drive 
All sadness but despair ; now gentle gales 
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense 
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they 

Those balmy spoils. As when to them who 

Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past 
Mozambick, off at sea North East winds blow 
Sabean odours from the spicy shore 
Of Araby the Blest ; with such delay 
Well pleased they slack their course, and many 

a league 
Cheer'd with the grateful smell Old Ocean 

smiles : 
So entertain'd those odorous sweets the fiend 
Who came their bane." 

This Rne imagery shows how deep was the 
impression made upon the nation by Lan- 
caster's enterprise. But it was in its practical 
aspects that the success achieved produced the 
most striking results. The immediate frilit of the 
voyage was a great burst of commercial activity. 
The infant East India Company gained ad- 
herents on all sides, and men put their- capital 
into it in confident assurance that they would 
reap a golden return on their investment. So 
the undertaking progressed until it took its 
place amongst the great established institutions 
of the country. Meanwhile Lancaster dropped 
into a wealthy retirement. He lived for a good 
many years in leisured ease, and dying, left a 
substantial fortune to his heirs.. 

The history of the East India Company in 
its earliest years was a chequered one. The 
Dutch viewed the intrusion of their English 
rivals into the Straits with jealous apprehension, 
and they lost no opportunity of harassing the 

trading operations of both. But the conditions 
of the compact were flagrantly disregarded by 
the Dutch, and soon the relations of the repre- 
sentatives of the two nations were on a more 

nearly all their factories from the archipelago, 
p'ive years later the factory at Bantam was, 
however, re-established as a subordinate 
agency to Surat. It was subsequently (in 1634- 


Company's agents. In 1619 a treaty was con- 
cluded between the English and the Dutch 
Governments with a view to preventing the 
disastrous disputes which had impeded the 

The Red Dragon, Captain ^^-^''^^ ^^ xl^c ktr^at 

Anno loOi- -^ 

unfavourable footing than ever. Up to this 
time, says Sir George Birdwood, the English 
Company had no territory in sovereign right in 
the Indies excepting the island of Lantore or 
Great Banda. This island was governed by a 
commercial agent who had under him 30 
Europeans as clerks, and these, with 250 armed 
Malays, constituted the only force by which it 
was protected. In the islands of Banda, Pulo 
Roon, and Rosengyn, and at Macassar and 
Achin and Bantam, the Company's factories and 
agents were without any military defence. In 
1620, notwithstanding the Treaty of Defence, 
the Dutch expelled the English from Pulo Roon 
and Lantore, and in 1621 from Bantam. On 
the 17th February, 1622-23, occurred the famous 
massacre of Araboyna, which remained as a 
deep stain on the English name until it was 
wiped out by Cromwell in the Treaty of West- 
minster of 1654. In 1624 the English, unable 
to oppose the Dutch any longer, withdrew 

35) again raised to an independent presidency, 
and for some years continued to be the chief 
seat of the Company's power in the Straits. 
The factory was long a thorn in the Dutch side, 
and they adopted a characteristic method to 
extract it. In 1677 the Sultan of Bantam had 
weakly shared the regal power with his son. 
This act led to dissensions between parent and 
child, and finally to open hostilities. The Dutch 
favoured the young Sultan and actively assisted 
him. The English threw the weight of their 
influence into the scale in favour of the father. 
They acted on the sound general principle of up- 
holding the older constituted authority ; but 
either from indecision or weakness they re- 
frained from giving more than moral support to 
iheir pro lege. When, as subsequently happened, 
the young Sultan signally defeated his father and 
seated himself firmly on the throne as the sole 
ruler of the State, they paid the penalty of their 
lack of initiative by losing their pied ,'i terre in 




Bantam. On April I, 1682, the factory was 
taken possession of by a party of Dutch 
soldiers, and on the 12th August following the 

to repair the mischief caused by the Dutch. 
The outcome of their deliberations with the 
authorities at the Western India factory was 


agent and his council were deported in Dutch 
vessels to Batavia. A twelvemonth later the 
expropriated officials were at Surat, attempting 

the despatch of a mission, headed by Messrs. 
Ord and Cawley, two expert officials, to Achin, 
to set up, if possible, a factory there to take the 

place of the one which had existed at Bantam. 
On arrival at their destination the envoys found 
established upon the throne a line of queens. 
The fact that a female succession had been 
adopted is thought by Marsden, the historian of 
Sumatra, to have been due to the influence 
exercised by our Queen Elizabeth, whose won- 
derful success against the Spanish arms had 
carried her fame to the archipelago, where the 
Spanish and Portuguese power was feared and 
hated. However that may be, the English 
mission was received with every mark of 
respect by the reigning Queen — Anayet Shah. 
Suspicions appear to have been entertained by 
the visitors that her Majesty was not a woman, 
but a eunuch dressed up in female apparel. 
Marsden, however, thinks that they were mis- 
taken in their surmise, and he cites a curious 
incident related in the record drawn up by 
Messrs. Ord and Cawley of their proceedings 
as conclusive evidence that his view is the 
correct one. " We went to give an audience at 
the palace this day as customary," write the 
envoys ; " being arrived at the place of audience 
with the Orang Kayos, the Queen was pleased to 
order us to come nearer, when her Majesty was 
very inquisitive into the use of our wearing 
periwigs, and what was the convenience of 
them, to all of which we returned satisfactory 
answers. After this her Majesty desired of 
Mr. Ord, if it were no affront to him, that he 
should take off his periwig that she might see 
how he appeared without it ; which, according 



to her Majesty's request, he did. She then told 
us she had heard of our business, and would 
give her answer by the Orang Kayos, and so 

proof against English determination. Gra- 
dually but surely the East India Company's 
authority at the chosen centres was consoli- 

(From \\\ Alexander's drawings to illustrate Lord Macartney's Embassy to China.) 

we retired." The Queen's reply was a favour- 
able one, but circumstances rendered it un- 
necessary to proceed further with the scheme 
of establishing a factory in Achin. It chanced 
that the visit of the English mission coincided 
with the arrival in Achin of a number of chiefs 
of Priaman and other places on the West Coast 
of Sumatra, and these, hearing of the English 
designs, offered a site for a factory, with the 
exclusive right of purchasing their pepper. Mr. 
Ord readily listened to their proposals, and he 
ultimately got the chiefs to embark with him for 
Madras, for the purpose of completing a formal 
arrangement. The business was carried through 
by the Governor of Madras in the beginning of 
the year 1685 on the terms proposed. Subse- 
quently an expedition was fitted out with the 
object of establishing the factory at Priaman. 
A short time before it sailed, however, an invi- 
tation was received at Madras from the chiefs 
of Beng Kanlu (Bencoolen) to make a settle- 
ment there. In view of the fact that a consider- 
able portion of the pepper that was formerly 
exported from Bantam came from this spot, it 
was deemed advisable that Mr. Ord should iirst 
proceed there. The English expedition arrived 
at Bencoolen on June 25, 168S, and Mr. Ord 
took charge of the territory assigned to the 
Company. Afterwards other settlements were 
formed at Indrapura and Manjuta. At Priaman 
the Dutch had anticipated the English action, 
and the idea of establishing a settlement there 
had to be abandoned. The Dutch also astutely 
prevented the creation of another English 
trading centre at Batang-Kapas in 1686. The 
unfriendly disposition shown in these instances 
was part of a deliberate policy of crushing out 
English trade in the Straits. Where factories had 
been founded the Dutch sought to nullify them 
by establishing themselves in the neighbour- 
hood and using the utmost influence to prevent 
the country people from trading with them. 
Their machinations were not in the long run 

dated, and within a few years Bencoolen 
assumed an aspect of some prosperity. But its 
progress was limited by an unhealthy situation, 
and by natural disadvantages of a more serious 
character. In the beginning of the eighteenth 
century the old settlement was abandoned in 
favour of a better site about three miles away 
on the bay of Bencoolen.. The new town, to 

of dignity by reason of the circumstance that it 
was the headquarters of the Company's power 
in these regions. But \ature never intended it 
for a great commercial entrepot, and of the 
leading factories of the East India Company it 
represents probably the most signal failure. 

In the early half of the eighteenth century 
the course of British commerce in the Straits 
ran smoothly. It is not until we reach the 
year 1752 that we find any event of importance 
in the record. At that period a forward policy 
was initiated, and two new settlements were 
established on the Smnatra coast. To one the 
designation of Natal was given ; the other was 
founded at Tappanuli. Natal in its time was 
an important factory, but as a centre of British 
commerce it has long since passed into the 
limbo of forgotten things. In 1760, during our 
war with France, a French fleet under Comte 
d'Estaing visited the Straits and destroyed all 
the East India Company's settlements on the 
Sumatra coast. But the mischief was subse- 
quently repaired, and the British rights to the 
occupied territory were formally recognised in 
the Treaty of Paris of 1763. Up to this period 
Bencoolen had been subordinate to Madras, an 
arrangement which greatly militated against its 
successful administration. The establishment 
was now formed into an independent presi- 
dency, and provided with a charter for the 
creation of a mayor's court. The outbreak of 
the war with Holland brought the station into 
special prominence. In.i7Si an expedition 
was despatched from it to operate against the 
Dutch estabUshments. It resulted in the seizure 
of Pedang and other important points in 
Sumatra. The British power was now practi- 
cally supreme on the Sumatran coasts. But it 

(From Alexander's drawings at the India Office.) 

which the designation Fort Marlborough was 
given, was an improvement on the original 
settlement, and it attained to a certain position 

had long been felt that an extension of British 
influence and power beyond Sumatra was 
desirable in the interests of a growing com- 



merce in the Straits and for the protection of 
our important China trade. The occupation of 
Pinang in 1786, in circumstances which will 
be detailed at a later stage of our narrative, was 

its possession less burdensome. It continued 
to the end of its existence a serious drag on the 
Company's finances. 
The year 1804 is memorable in Straits history 

(From the portrait by G. F. Joseph, .A.R.A., in the Xiitional Portrait Gallery.) 

Street. There he remained until the occupa- 
tion of Pinang gave him the opportunity, for 
which his ardent spirit longed, of service 
abroad. He went out with high hopes and 
an invincible determination to justify the con- 
fidence reposed in him. His spare momenls 
on the voyage were occupied in learning the 
Malay language and studying Malay literature. 
Thus he was able to land with more than a 
casual equipment for the work he had to do. 
At Pinang he continued his linguistic studies, 
with such good effect that in a short time he 
was an acknowledged authority on Malayan 
customs. His exceptional ability did not pass 
without recognition. Through Dr. Leyden, 
who had formed Raffles's acquaintance in 
Pinang, Lord Minto, then Governor-General 
of India, heard of this brilliant young official 
who was making so distinguished a reputation 
in paths not usually trodden by the Company's 
junior servants. A visit to Calcutta in 1807 by 
Raffles was an indirect consequence of the 
introduction. Lord Minto received the young 
man kindly, and discussed with him the question 
of the extension of British influence in the 
Malay Archipelago. Raffles ended by so im- 
pressing the statesman with his grasp of the 
situation that the latter conferred upon him 
the position of Governor-General's Agent in 
the Eastern seas. This extraordinary mark of 
favour was completely justified when, four 
years later. Lord Minto conducted in person an 
expedition for the conquest of Java. The expe- 
ditionary force consisted of nearly six thousand 
British and as many Indian troops. Ninety 
ships were required for the transport of the 
force, which was at the time the largest ever 
sent to those seas by a European Power. 

the result. Nine years later Malacca, captured 
from the Dutch, was added to our possessions. 
These important centres gave a new strength 
and significance to our position in the Straits. 
But no change was made in the administrative 
system until 1802, when an Act of Parliament 
was passed authorising the East India Com- 
pany to make their settlement at Fort Marl- 
borough a factory subordinate to the presidency 
of Fort William in Bengal, and to transfer to 
Madras the servants who, on the reduction of 
the establishment, should be supernumerary. 
The change was prompted by economical con- 
siderations. Bencoolen had always been a very 
expensive appanage of the East India Company, 
and the progress of events did not tend to make 

as marking the advent to this important centre 
of British influence of one who has carved in 
indelible letters his name and fame upon British 
colonial history. In September of that year 
there landed at Pinang Thomas Stamford 
Raffles, the man to whom more than to any 
other Britain owes her present proud position 
in the Straits of Malacca. Raffles came out 
with no other advantages than his natural 
endowments. The son of a sea captain en- 
gaged in the West India trade, he was born on 
board his father's ship on July 5, 1781. His 
educational training was of the briefest. After 
a few years' schooling at Hammersmith he, at 
the early age of fourteen, entered the East India 
Company's service as a clerk in Leadenhall 


(From a portrait bv James Atkinson in the National 
Portrait Gallery.) 

Raffles was chosen by Lord Minto as his chief 
intelligence officer. He discharged his part 
with the zeal and acumen which distinguished 
him. But it was a time for all of great anxiety. 



as the surveys of the archipelago at that period 
were very inadequate, and no small peril 
attended the navigation of so considerable a 
fleet of transports as that which carried the 
expeditionary force. The course which Raflles 
advised for the passage of the ships was 
severely criticised by naval authorities. But 
Lord Minto placed confidence in his intelligence 
officer's knowledge and judgment, and elected 
to take his advice. The result was the trium- 
phant vindication of Rafdes. The fleet, sailing 
from Malacca on June ii, 1811, reached Batavia 
early in August without a serious casualty of 
any kind ; and the army, landing on the 4th of 
that month, occupied Batavia on the gth, and 
on the 25th inflicted a signal defeat on the 
Dutch forces under General Janssens. The 
battle so completely broke the power of the 
Dutch that Lord Minto within six weeks was 
' able to re-embark for India. Before leaving 
he marked his sense of Raffles's services by 
appointing him Lieutenant-Governor of the 
newly conquered territory. Raflles's admini- 
stration of Java brought out his greatest 
qualities. Within a remarkably short time he 
had evolved order out of chaos and placed the 
dependency on the high road to affluent pros- 
perity. When at the end of years the time 
came for him to lay down the reins of office, he 
left the island with an overflowing treasury and 
a trade flourishing beyond precedent. Return- 
ing to England in 18 l6 with health somewhat 
impaired by his arduous work in the tropics, 
Raffles hoped for a tangible recognition of his 
brilliant services. But his success had excited 
jealousy, and there were not wanting detractors 
who called in question certain aspects of his 
administration. It is unnecessary for present 
purposes to go into those forgotten con- 
troversies. Suffice it to say that the attacks 
were so far successful that no better position 
could be found for Raffles than the Lieutenant- 
Governorship of Bencoolen, a centre whose 
obscurity had become more marked since the 
occupation of Pinang. 

Raffles assumed the office which had been 
entrusted to him with the cheerful zeal which 
was characteristic of the man. But even his 
sanguine temperament was not proof against 
the gloomy influences which pervaded the 
place. An earthquake which had occurred 
just before he landed had done great damage 
to the station, and this disaster had accentuated 
he forlornness of the outlook. Raffles drew a 
vivid picture of the scene which confronted him 
in a letter written on April 7, 1818, a few days 
after landing. " This," he wrote, •' is without 
exception the most wretched place I ever 
beheld . . . the roads are impassable, the 
highways in the town overrun with rank 
grass, the Government house a den of ravenous 
dogs and polecats. The natives say that Ben- 
coolen is now a Taiii mati (dead land). In 
truth I could never have conceived anything 
half so bad. We will try and make it better, 
and if I am well supported from home the 
West Coast may yet be turned to account." 
The moral condition of the place was in keep- 
ing with its physical aspect. Public gaming 
and cock-fighting were not only practised 

under the eye of the chief authority, but pub- 
licly patronised by the Government. This laxity 
had its natural consequences in an excess of 
criminality. Murders were daily committed 
and robberies perpetrated which were never 
traced ; profligacy and immorality obtruded 
themselves in every direction.' 

The truth is that Bencoolen at this time was 
decaying of its own rottenness. Throughout 
its existence it had been a sink of corruption 
and official extravagance, and these qualities 
had honeycombed it to a point almost of com- 
plete destruction. A story familiar in the Straits 
illustrates aptly the traditions of the station. 
At one period there was a serious discrepancy 
— amounting to several thousand dollars — 
between the sum to the credit of the public 
account and the specie in hand. Naturally the 
authorities in Leadenhall Street demanded an 
explanation of this unpleasant circumstance. 
They were told that the blame was due to 
white ants, though it was left to conjecture 
whether the termites had demolished the 
money or simply the chest which contained it. 
The directors made no direct comment upon 
this statement, but a little later despatched to 
Bencoolen, unasked, a consignment of files. 
At a loss to know why these articles had been 
sent out, the Bencoolen officials sought au 
explanation. Then they were blandly told that 
they were to be used against the teeth of the 
white ants should the insects again prove 
troublesome. It is probable that this was a 
sort of Leadenhall Street Roland for a Ben- 
coolen Oliver, for just previous to this incident 
the home authorities had made themselves 
ridiculous by solemnly enjoining the Bencoolen 
officials to encourage the cultivation of white 
pepper, that variety being most valuable. On 
that occasion it had been brought home to 
the dense Leadenhall Street mind that black 
and white pepper are from identical plants, the 
difference of colour only arising from the 
method of preparation, the latter being allowed 
to ripen on the vine, while the former is 
plucked when green. Mistakes of the character 
of this one, it appears, were not uncommon in 
the relations of the headquarters with Ben- 
coolen. An almost identical incident is brought 
to light in one of Raffles's letters. After he had 
been some time at Bencoolen a ship was sent 
out to him with definite instructions that it 
should be loaded exclusively with pepper. 
Owing to its extreme lightness, pepper alone 
is an almost impossible cargo, and it was the 
practice to ship it with some heavy commodity. 
Acting on these principles. Raffles, in anticipa- 
tion of the vessel's arrival, had accumulated a 
quantity of sugar for shipment. But in view of 
the peremptoriness of his orders he withdrew 
it, and the vessel eventually sailed with the 
small consignment of pepper which was pos- 
sible having regard to the safety of the vessel. 

Bencoolen from the beginning to the end of 
its existence as an English trading centre was 
but a costly white elephant to the East India 
Company. Raffles's opinion upon it was that 
" it was certainly the very worst selection that 
could have been made for a settlement. It is 

I " Memoir of Sir T. Stamford Raftles," p. ^97. 

completely shut out of doors ; the soil is, com- 
paratively with the other Malay countries, in- 
ferior ; the population scanty ; neighbourhood 
or passing trade it has none ; and further, it 
wants a harbour, to say nothing of its long 
reputed unhealthiness and the undesirable state 
of ruin into which it has been allowed to run." ' 
Yet at this period the administration of the 
settlement involved an expenditure of ;f 100,000 
a year, and the only return for it, as Raffles 
contemptuously put it, was "a few tons of 
pepper." In the view of the energetic young 
administrator the drawbacks of the place were 
accentuated by the facility with which the 
pepper trade was carried on by the Americans 
without any settlement of any kind. In a letter 
to Marsden, with whom he kept up an active 
correspondence, Raffles wrote under date April 
28, 1818 : "There have been no less than nine- 
teen Americans at the northern ports this sea- 
son, and they have taken away upwards of 
60,000 pekuls of pepper at nine dollars. It is 
quite ridiculous for us to be confined to this 
spot in order to secure the monopoly of 
500 tons, while ten times that amount may be 
secured next door without any establishment 
at all." 

The wonder is that, with practically no ad- 
vantages to recommend it, and with its serious 
drawbacks, Bencoolen should so long have 
remained the Company's headquarters. The 
only reasonable explanation is that the directors 
held it as a- counterpoise to Ihe Dutch power in 
these waters. Dutch policy aimed at an abso- 
lute monopoly, and it was pursued with an 
arrogance and a greed which made it impera- 
tive on the guardians of British interests in 
these latitudes that it should be resisted with 
determination. Resisted it was, as the records 
show, through long years, but it cannot truly 
be said that in dissipating energies and sub- 
stance at Bencoolen the Company adopted a 
sensible course. By their action, indeed, they 
postponed for an unnecessarily protracted 
period the seating of British power in the 
Straits in a position adequate to the great trade 
and the commanding political interests which 
Britain even at that period had in the East. 
But no doubt the consolidation of our position 
in India absorbed the energies and the resources 
of the Company in the eighteenth century, and 
prevented them from taking that wider view 
which was essential. That the authorities in 
India were not unmindful of the importance of 
extending British influence in the Straits is 
shown by the readiness with which, when the 
value of the position had been brought home 
to them by Light, they took the necessary steps 
to occupy Pinang in 1786. Still, the full lesson 
of statesmanship had yet to be taught them, as 
is indicated by the fact that within eight years 
of the hoisting of the British flag on Prince of 
Wales Island, as it was officially designated, its 
abandonment in favour of a station on the 
Andamans was seriously proposed. It re- 
mained for Raffles to teach that lesson. How 
his instruction was given and the results which 
flowed from it, are matters which must be dealt 
with in a separate section. 

' Ibid., p. 463. 





The Occupation axd the Fight against 
Dutch Pretensions and Official 

THE retrocession of Malacca under the 
terms of the Treaty of Vienna was 
almost universally felt throughout the Straits 
to be a great blow to British political and com- 
mercial influence. Regarded at home as a 
mere pawn to be lightly sacrificed on the 
diplomatic chess-board, the settlement through- 
out the Eastern seas enjoyed a prestige second 
to that of hardly any other port east of Cal- 
cutta, and its loss to those on the spot appeared 
a disaster of the first magnitude. There was 
substantial reason for the alarm excited. The 
situation of the settlement in the very centre of 
the Straits gave its owners the practical com- 
mand of the great highway to the Far East. 
It was the historic centre of power to which all 
Malaya had long been accustomed to look as 
the seat of European authority ; it was a com- 
mercial emporium which for centuries had 
attracted to it the trade of these seas. But 
these were not the only considerations which 
tinged the minds of the British community 
in the Straits with apprehension when they 
thought over the surrender of the port, with 
all that it implied. From the Dutch settle- 
ments across the sea were wafted with every 

man, the Governor of Pinang, to number 
twelve thousand men, including a considerable 
proportion of highly-trained European troops, 



(From the " Memoir of Sir T. Stamford Raffles.") 

had been concentrated in Netherlands India. 
With it was <i powerful naval squadron, well 
manned and equipped. These and other cir- 
cumstances which were brought to light indi- 

(I'Yom Von de Velde's " Gesigtenuit Neerlands Indie.") 

ship rumours of preparations which were being 
made for the new regime which the reoccupa- 
tion of Malacca was to usher in. An imposing 
military force, estimated by Colonel Banner- 

cated that the reoccupation of Malacca was to 
be the signal for a fresh effort on the part of 
Ihe Dutch to secure that end for which they 
had been struggling for two centuries— the 

absolute domination of the Straits of Malacca 
and of the countries bordering upon that great 

One of the first public notes of alarm at the 
ominous activity of the Dutch was sounded by 
the commercial men of Pinang. On June 8, 
1818, the merchants of that place sent a me- 
morial to Government inviting the attention of 
the Governor to the very considerable inter- 
course now carried on by British subjects in 
India " with the countries of Perak, Salangore, 
and Riho in the Straits of Malacca, and the 
island of Singha, and Pontiana and other ports 
on the island of Borneo," and suggesting— in 
view of the transfer of Malacca and the pro- 
bable re-adoption by the Dutch of their old 
exclusive policy, by which they would " endea- 
vour to make such arrangements with, and to 
obtain such privileges from, the kings or chiefs 
of those countries as might preclude British 
subjects from the enjoyment of the present 
advantageous commerce they now carry on " 
— the expediency of the British Government 
" endeavouring to make such amicable commer- 
cial treaties and alliances with the kings and 
chiefs of these places as may effectually secure 
to British subjects the freedom of commerce 
with those countries, if not on more favourable 
terms, which, from the almost exclusive trade 
British subjects have carried on with them for 
these twenty years past, we should suppose 
they might even be disposed to concede."' 

There is no evidence that any formal reply 
was ever made to this representation, but. that 
it was not without fruit is shown by the subse- 
quent action of the Government. They penned 
an earnest despatch to the Supreme Govern- 
ment, deploring the cession of the port and 
pointing out the serious effect the action taken 
was likely to have on British trade and prestige. 
Meanwhile Mr. Cracroft, Malay translator to 
the Government, was sent on a mission to 
Perak and Selangor, with instructions to con- 
clude treaties if possible with the chiefs of 
those States. At the same tiine a despatch was 
forwarded to Major Farquhar, the British Resi- 
dent at Malacca, directing him to conduct a 
similar mission to Riau, Lingen, Pontiana, and 
Slack. Mr. Cracroft, after a comparatively 
brief absence, returned with treaties executed 
by both the chiefs to whom he was accredited. 
Major Farquhar's mission proved a far more 
difficult one. Embarking at Malacca on July 
19th, he made Pontiana his first objective, as he 
had heard of the despatch of a Dutch expedition 
from Batavia to the same place, and was 
anxious to anticipate it if possible. He, how- 
ever, brought up off Riau for the purpose of 
delivering letters, announcing his mission, to 
the Raja Muda, the ruling authority of the 
place, and to the Sultan of Lingen, who conld 
be reached from that quarter. After a tedious 
passage he arrived at Pontiana on August 3rd, 
but, to his mortification, found that the Dutch 
had anticipated him and had occupied the 
place. Dissembling his feelings as best he 

» " Straits Settlements Records," Xo. 66 



could, he after a brief interval weighed anchor 
and directed his course to Lingen. Here he 
was told that the political authority was vested 
in the Raja Muda of Riau, to whom applica- 
tion for the treaty must be made. Acting on 
the suggestion, Farquhar went to Riau, and 
concluded what he then regarded as a very 
satisfactory arrangement. Subsequently he 
visited Bukit Bahoo in Slack, and concluded 
a like treaty there on August 31st. Returning 
to Malacca, Farquhar forwarded the treaties to 
Pinang with a covering despatch of much inte- 
rest in the light of subsequent events. In this 
communication the writer expressed his desire 
to put before the Governor of Pinang some 
considerations relative to the situation created 
by the retrocession to the Dutch of Malacca, 
" the Key of the Straits " — an event which, in 
his view, could not be too much deplored. 
The provident measures adopted of concluding 
alliances with native States would, he said, 
prove of much ultimate benefit in preserving 
an open and free trade. But however strong 
might be the attachment of the native chiefs to 
the British, and however much they might 
desire to preserve the terms of the treaties 
inviolate, it would be quite impossible for them 
to do so unless strenuously supported and pro- 
tected by our influence and authority. In the 
circumstances it seemed to him that " the most 
feasible, and indeed almost only, method to 
counteract the evils which at present threaten 
to annihilate all free trade to the Eastern 
Archipelago would be by the formation of a 
new settlement to the eastward of Malacca." 
" From the observations I have been able to 
make on my late voyage, as well as from 
former experience, there is," Farquhar con- 
tinued, " no place which holds ■ out so many 
advantages in every way as do the Kariman 
Islands, which are so situate as to be a com- 
plete key to the Straits of Sincapore, Dryon, 
and Soban, an advantage which no other place 
in the Straits of Malacca possesses, as all trade, 
whether coming from the eastward or west- 
ward, must necessarily pass through one or 
other of the above straits. A British settle- 
ment, therefore, on the Karimans, however 
small at first, would, I am convinced, very soon 
become a port of great consequence, and not 
only defray its own expenses, but yield in time 
an overplus revenue to Government." The 
~ Karimuns, Farquhar went on to say, were un- 
inhabited, but as they were attached to the 
dominions of the Sultan of Johore, he suggested 
that means should be adopted of obtaining a 
regular transfer of the islands from that 

In forwarding Farquhar's despatches to the 
Governor-General, Colonel Bannerman drew 
attention in serious terms to the menace of the 
Dutch policy in regard to native States. He 
pointed out that they had twelve thousand 
troops in their possessions, and that the pre- 
sence of this force between India and China 
involved a distinct danger to British interests. 
He did not, however, support Farquhar's sug- 
gestion in regard to the Karimun Islands, on 
the ground that " the expense of maintaining a 
settlement on an uninhabited island would be 
enormous," and that "the insulated situation of 
Kariman and its remoteness from all support 
would require a considerable military force to 

guard it against the large fleets of piratical 
prows infesting that part of the Straits, as well 
as against the nations of the adjoining coun- 

Finally he stated that the subject was under 
the consideration of the Government of 

In a later despatch, dated the 7th of Novem- 

(From a sketch in the India Office.) 

Before he had received any intimation as to 
the views held by Colonel Bannerman, Far- 
quhar, deeming that the matter was one of 
urgency, took upon himself the responsibility 
of writing to the Raja Muda of Riau, asking 
him if he were willing to forward the transfer 
of the Karimun Islands to the British. The 
Raja replied cautiously that, though he had no 
objection to the British examining the islands, 
he did not deem himself in a position to come 
to any definitive arrangement. In transmitting 
this information to Colonel Bannerman, Far- 
quhar reasserted the desirability of acquiring 
the Karimuns, and stated that he thought a 
small force — " two companies of native in- 
fantry, with a proportion of artillery assisted 
by a few hundred convicts " — would be suffi- 
cient to garrison it. 

While the arrangements for the transfer of 
Malacca were in progress a claim was raised 
by the Dutch to the suzerainty of Riau and 
Perak on the ground that they were depen- 
dencies of Malacca, and reverted to them with 
that settlement, in spite of the fact that imm.e- 
diately after the capture of Malacca in 1795 
the Sultan of Riau was restored to the full 
enjoyment of his sovereign rights by the 

Farquhar, writing from Malacca to Banner- 
man on the 22nd of October, stated that he had 
been questioned by the Dutch Commissioners 
as to the intentions of his Government in regard 
to the formation of a settlement to the eastward 
of Malacca, and had informed them officially 
that friendly communications had already been 
made with the constituted authorities of Lingen 
and Riau, and their permission obtained for 
examining and surveying the Karimun and 
neighbouring islands, and also a general con- 
currence in the views of his Government. 

ber, Farquhar enclosed a communication from 
the Dutch Commissioners raising definitely 
the question of the vassalage of the States 
of Lingen, Riau, &c., arising out of old 
treaties said to have been formed with those 
States thirty or forty years previously. In the 
letter from the Dutch was intimated in the 
most explicit terms a firm determination on 
the part of their Government not to permit 
the Raja of Johore, Pahang, &c., to cede to 
the British the smallest portion of his heredi- 
tary possessions. 

In a despatch dated November 21, 1818, 
Bannerman forwarded Farquhar's letter and 
the Dutch Commissioners' communication to 
the Governor-General with the remark, " No 
sanction or authority has been given to Major 
Farquhar to negotiate for the Kariman Islands, 
or even to discuss the question with the Dutch 
authorities." "My letters to' the Governor- 
General," Bannerman added, " exemplify to 
his Excellency in Council rather the prevalence 
of an opinion adverse to their occupation than 
any sanction to the discussion of the question 
itself." The communication proceeded : " It 
appears to the Governor in Council that the 
late discussions have had a tendency to stamp 
the Kariman Islands with a degree of impor- 
tance which their value cannot sanction ; but at 
the same time they have led to a more complete 
development of the views of general aggran- 
disement with which the Netherlands Govern- 
ment are actuated, and it may be feared that 
the pretensions of that Power to the undivided 
sovereignty in the Eastern seas, or the tenacity 
with which they are prepared to support their 
claims, will be productive of considerable dis- 
advantage to British interests unless counter- 
acted by timely arrangements." 

Such was the position of events at the end of 


November as far as Pinang was concerned. 
But in the interval between the first raising of 
the question and the transmission of Colonel 
Bannerraan's warning despatch to the Gover- 
nor-General there had been important develop- 
ments in another quarter. 

In the early days of his exile at Bencoolen, 
brooding over the situation in which the Treaty 
of Vienna had placed British power in the 
Straits, Raffles was quick to see that the time 
had come for a new departure in policy if 
British power was to hold its own in this part 
of the globe. His earliest correspondence from 
the settlement indicates his anxiety on the 
point. In a letter dated April 14, 1818, and 
despatched a week or two after his arrival, he 
wrote : " The Dutch possess the only passes 
through which ships must sail into this archi- 
pelago, the Straits of Sinida and of Malacca ; 
and the British have not now an inch of 
ground to stand upon between the Cape of 
Good Hope and China, nor a single friendly 
port at which they can water or obtain refresh- 
ments. It is indispensable that some regular 
and accredited authority on the part of the 
British Government should exist in. the archi- 
pelago, to declare and maintain the British 
rights, whatever they are, to receive appeals, 
and to exercise such wholesome control as 
may be conducive to the preservation of the 
British honour and character. At present the 
authority of the Government of Prince of Wales 
Island extends no further than Malacca, and 
the Dutch would willingly confine that of 
Bencoolen to the almost inaccessible and 
rocky shores of the West Coast of Sumatra. 
To effect the objects contemplated some con- 
venient station within the archipelago is neces- 
sary ; both Bencoolen and Prince of Wales 
Island are too far removed, and unless we 
succeed in obtaining a position in the Straits 
of Sunda, we have no alternative but to fix it in 
the most advantageous position we can find 
within the archipelago ; this would be some- 
where in the neighbourhood of Bintang." ■ 

Bintang, or Bentan as it is now called, is an 
island in the Riau Strait, about 30 miles from 
Singapore at the nearest point. The reference 
shows that Raffles had a clear conception of 
the importance of a good strategic as well as a 
favourable trading position, and knew exactly 
where this was to be found. There is reason 
to think that he actually had Singapore in his 
mind even at this early period. His corre- 
spondence suggests that his thoughts had long 
been cast in that direction, and other circum- 
stances make it inherently probable that a 
definite scheme for establishing a British 
settlement there was actually formed by him 
before he left England. The point is not very 
material. Even assuming that Raffles had not 
the undivided honour of discovering, or, more 
properly, rediscovering, Singapore, it was 
beyond all reasonable question he who gave 
the proposal for the occupation of the point 
living force, and ensured its success by a 
series of well-planned and cleverly executed 
measures, followed by the initiation of an 
administrative policy marked by statesmanlike 

Once having got into his mind the idea of 
the necessity of counteracting Dutch influence 
' " Memoir of Sir T. S. Raffles," p. 307. 

by the establishment of a new settlement. 
Rallies, with characteristic energy, proceeded 
to enlist the support of the authorities. Within 
a few months of his landing at Bencoolen he 
was on his wa\' to India to lay his plans before 
the Supreme.Government. At Calcutta he had 
several conferences with the Marquess of 
Hastings, the then Governor-General, and 
put before him the case for the adoption of a 
forward policy. He advocated, his biographer 
says, no ambitious scheme. " In his own 
words, he neither wanted people nor territory ; 
all he asked was permission to anchor a line-of- 
battle ship and hoist the English flag at the 
mouth either of the Straits of .Malacca or of 
Sunda, by which means the trade of England 
would be secured and the monopoly of the 
Dutch broken." ' As a result of the discussions 
it was decided to concede to the Dutch their 
pretensions in Sumatra, to leave to them the 



(From an engraving by Clent in the British Museum.) 

exclusive command of the Straits of Sunda, 
and " to limit interference to measures of 
precaution by securing a free trade with the 
archipelago and China through the Straits of 
Malacca." In order to effect this and at the 
same time to protect the political and com- 
mercial interests in the Eastern seas gene- 
rally, it was deemed essential that some central 
station should be occupied to the southward of 
Malacca. Finally, it was agreed that Raffles 
should be the agent of the Governor-General to 
carry out the policy decided upon, and Major 
Farquhar was directed by the Calcutta Govern- 
ment to postpone his departure and join Raffles 
in his mission. Raffles, wriling to Marsden 
under date Xovember 14, 1818, himself sums 
up the results of his mission in this way : " I 
have now to inform you that it is determined 
to keep the command of the Straits of Malacca 
by establishments at .-\chin and Rhio, and that 
I leave Calcutta in a fortnight as the agent to 
effect this important object. Achin I conceive 
' Ibid., p. 370. 

to be completely within our power, but the j 
Dutch may be beforehand with us at Rhio. 
They took possession of Pontiano and Malacca 5' 
in July and August last, and have been bad 
politicians if they have so long left Rhio open 
to us." In a letter penned twelve days later to 
the Duchess of Somerset, Raffles says : " I have 
at last succeeded in making the authorities in 
Bengal sensible of their supineness in allowing * 
the Dutch to exclude us from the Eastern seas, «' 
but I fear it is now too late to retrieve what we 
have lost. I have full powers to do all that we 
can ; and if anything is to be done I think I 
need not assure your grace that it shall be done 
and quickly done." It seems probable that in 
the interval between these two letters informa- 
tion had reached Calcutta of the Dutch occupa- •« 
tion of Rhio (Riau). Whether so or not. Raffles, ,.i- 
it is clear from a later letter addressed to Marsr 
den froin " off the Sandheads " on December 
12, 1818, had by the time he started on his 
homewaid voyage turned his thoughts from 
Riau in the direction of Singapore. " We are 
now," he writes, " on our way to the eastward 
in the hope of doing something, but I much 
fear that the Dutch have hardly left us an inch 
of ground to stand upon. My attention is prin- 
cipally turned to Johore, and you must not be 
surprised if my next letter to you is dated from 
the site of the ancient city of Singapura." This 
letter is important as an indication that Raffles's 
designs were tending towards Singapore before 
he left Calcutta and had had an opportunity of 
consulting Major Farquhar. 

On arrival at Pinang, Raffles found a very 
discouraging situation. He was met with the 
probably not unexpected news that the Dutch 
had compelled the Rajas of Riau and Lingen . 
to admit their troops into the former settlement 
and to permit their colours to fly at Lingen, 
Pahang, and Johore ; while an additional 
example of their aggressiveness was supplied 
by the arrest of the Sultan of Palembang and 
the occupation of his capital wiih a thousand 
troops, five hundred of whom were Europeans 
in a high state of discipline. In. transmitting 
information of these acts to the Governor- 
General, Colonel Bannerman had penned a 
despatch in terms which were no doubt com- 
municated to Sir Stamford Raflles. In this 
document the Governor of Pinang observed 
that he thought that the Dutch action "must 
prove to the Supreme Government the full 
nature of those encroachments and monopolies 
to which these acts wiU naturally tend. The 
Governor in Council was satisfied that nothing 
less than the uncontrolled and absolute posses- 
sion of the Eastern trade would satisfy the 
rapacious policy of the Dutch Government." 
The despatch went on to point out that the 
Dutch had now complete control of every port ■ 
eastward of Pinang, and had besides every 
means, in a very superior military and naval 
armament, to frustrate any attempt of the 
British Government " to negotiate even a 
common commercial alliance with any one of 
the Stales in the Eastern seas." Finally the 
despatch despairingly remarked, " To effect 
therefore among them any political arrange: . 
ments as a counterpoise to the influence of that 
nation, it is needless to disguise, is now beyond 
the power of the British Government in India." 
These concluding words supply a keynote to 



the attitude of Colonel Bannermaii. He had 
clearly been overwhelmingly impressed with 
Dutch activity and the resolution with which 
they pursued their aims, and thought that the 
position was beyond retrieval. He was not a 
strong official. His despatches show him to 
have been an opinionated and somewhat 
irascible man, intolerant of criticism, and, 
though genial in his social relations, endowed 
with more than a common share of official 
arrogance. Mingled with these qualities was 
a constitutional timidity which prevented him 
from taking any course which involved risk 
or additional responsibility. He was, in fine, 
the very worst type of administrator to deal 
with a crisis such as that which had arisen in 
the Straits. In receiving Raffles and com- 
municating his views on the complicated 
situation that had developed, he seems to have 
given full rein to his pessimism. He was, 
indeed, so entirely convinced that the position 
was irretrievable that he had apparently made 
up his mind to thwart Raffles's mission by 
every means in his power. It is doing no 
injustice to him to say that wedded to a 
sincere belief in the futility of further action 
was a feeling of soreness that this important 
undertaking had been launched without refer- 
ence to him and placed under the charge of an 
official who held a less exalted position than 
himself. In the recorded correspondence" 
between himself and Raffles we find him at 
the very ovitset taking up a position of almost 
violent hostility and obstructiveness. The con- 
troversy was 'opened by a letter addressed by 
Bannerman to Raffles immediately after the 
latter's arrival, detailing the acts of Dutch 
aggressiveness and affirming the undesirability 
of further prosecuting the mission in the 
circumstances. To this Rafiles replied on 
January i, 1819, saying that although Riau 
was preoccupied, " the island of Sincapore 
and the districts of Old Johore and the Straits 
of Indiigeeree on Sumatra offer eligible points 
for establishing the required settlement," and 
declaring his inclination to the policy of pro- 
ceeding at once to the eastward with a 
respectable and efficient force. Bannerman, 
in answer to this communication, wrote on the 
3rd of January protesting against Raffles's pro- 
posed action and refusing to grant the demand 
which apparently had been made for a force 
of 500 men to assist him in carrying out his 
designs. In taking up this strong line Banner- 
man does not appear to have carried his entire 
Council with him. One member — Mr. Erskine 
— expressed his dissent and drew upon himself 
in consequence the wrath of his chief, who in 
a fiery minute taunted him with vacillation on 
the ground that he had at the outset been in 
agreement with his colleagues as to the in- 
advisability of the prosecution of the mission. 
Raffles was not the man to be readily thwarted, 
and we find him on the 4th of January 
directing a pointed inquiry to Bannerman as 
to whether he positively declined to aid him. 
Thus brought to bay, the Governor found it 
expedient to temporise. He wrote saying thai 
he was willing to give military aid, but that he 
did so only on Raffles's statement that he had 
authority from the Governor-General apart 
from the written instructions, Ihe terms of 
' "Straits Settlements Records," No. 182A. 

which were relied upon by Bannerman as 
justifying the attitude he had assumed. The 
bitter, unreasonable spirit which Raffles en- 
countered produced upon him a natural feeling 
of depression. " God only knows," he wrote 
to Marsden on January 16, 1819, "where next 
you may hear from me, but as you will be 
happy to learn of the progress of my mission, 
I will not lose the present opportunity of in- 
forming you how 1 go on. Whether anything 

to his destination, but that he had a definite 
idea in his mind appears from a letter he wrote 
the same day to Mi-. Adam, the Secretary to the 
Supreme Government. In this he said: "The 
island of Sincapore, independently of the 
straits and harbour of Johore, which it both 
forms and commands, has, on its southern 
shores, and by means of the several small 
islands which lie off it, excellent anchorage 
and smaller harbours, and seems in every 

(From an original drawing in the possession of tlie Rev. J. H. Bannsrman, Vicar of St. Stephen's, Congleton, Cheshire.) 

is to be done to the eastward or inot is yet very 
uncertain. By neglecting to occupy the place 
we lost Rhio, and shall have difficulty in 
establishing ourselves elsewhere, but I shall 
certainly attempt it. At Achin the difficulties 
I shall have to surmount in the performance 
of my duty will be great and the annoyance 
severe, but I shall persevere steadily in what 
I conceive to be my duty." In this letter to 
Marsden ignorance is professed by Raffles as 

respect most peculiarly adapted for our object. 
Its position in the Straits of Sincapore is far more 
convenient and commanding than even Rhio 
for our China trade, passing down the Straits 
of Malacca, and every native vessel that sails 
through the Straits of Rhio must pass in sight 
of it." Raffles went on to say that there did 
not appear to be any objection "to a station at 
Sincapore, or on the opposite shore towards 
Point Romanea, or on any other of the smaller 




(From Captain Bethune's "Views in tlie Eastern Archipelago.") 

islands which he off this part of the coast. 
The larger harbour of Johore," he added, "is 
declared by professional men whom I have 
consulted, and by every Eastern trader of ex- 
perience to whom I have been able to refer, 
to be capacious and easily defensible, and the 
British flag once hoisted, there would be no 
want of supplies to meet the immediate neces- 
sities of our establishment." 

Three days after the despatch of this letter 
Raffles sailed on his eventful mission. Major 
Farquhar, who from the records appears to 
have been at Pinang at the time, was com- 
pletely won over to his views — " seduced " is 
the phrase which Colonel Bannerman used 
later — and accompanied him. It says much 
for the strained character of the relations 
which existed at the moment between Raffles 
and the Pinang Government that in quitting 
the harbour the former neglected to notify his 
departure. Slipping their anchors, the four 
vessels of his little fleet left at night-time 
without a word from Raffles to the Govern- 
ment. His mission being a secret one of the 
highest importance, he probably felt indisposed 
to supply more information about his move- 
ments than was absolutely necessary to the 
hostile officialdom of Pinang. However that 
may be, the omission to give notice of sailing 
appears to have been part of a deliberate 
policy, for when some weeks later one of 
Raffles's vessels had again to leave port, its 

commander departed without the customary 
formality, with the result that Colonel Banner- 
man penned a flaming despatch to the 
Governor-General invoking vengeance on the 

The mystery in which Raffles's intentions 
and movements were, we may assume, pur- 
posely enshrouded at this period has resulted in 
the survival of a considerable amount of doubt 
as to the actual course of events. It has even 
been questioned whether he was actually 
present at Singapore when the British flag 
was hoisted for the first time. The records, 
however, are absolutely conclusive on this 
point. Indeed, there is so much direct evi- 
dence on this as well as on other aspects of 
the occupation that it is remarkable there 
should have been any room for controversy 
as to the leading part which Raffles played in 
the transaction. 

When Raffles sailed from Pinang, it is 
probable that he had no fixed design in regard 
to any place. He knew generally what he 
wanted and he was determined to leave no 
stone unturned to accomplish his end. But 
beyond a leaning towards Singapore as in his 
view the best centre, he had, it would seem 
from the nature of his movements, an open 
mind on the question of the exact location of 
the new settlement. In the archives at the 
India Office" there exists a memorandum, 
I " Straits Settlements Records," Xo. lo. 

drawn up by Mr. Benjamin S. Jones, who was 
at the time senior clerk at the Board of Control, 
detailing the circumstances which led up to the 
occupation of Singapore. This document is 
dated July 20, 1820, and it was probably pre- 
pared with a view to the discussion then 
proceeding with the Dutch as to the legality 
of the occupation. As a statement of the 
official views held at the time in regard to 
Raffles's action it is of peculiar interest, and it 
may be examined before we come to deal with 
the movements of -the mission. At the outset 
there is given this explanation of the causes 
which led to its despatch : 

" The Governor-General in Council, deeming 
it expedient to secure the command of the 
Straits of Malacca in order to keep open a 
channel for British commerce, apparently 
endangered by the schemes of exclusive policy 
pursued by the Nethedandish Government, 
determined to despatch Sir T. S. Raffles for 
the purpose of improving the footing obtained 
at Rhio. In his instructions dated December 5, 
1818, it was observed that if the Dutch had 
previously occupied Rhio it might be expedient 
to endeavour to establish a connection with the 
Sultan of Johore, but as so little was known 
respecting that chief, Sir T. S. Raffles was 
informed that it would be incumbent upon us 
to act with caution and circumspection before 
we entered into any engagements with him. 
It was further observed that there was some 



reason to think that the Dutch would claim 
authority over the State of Johore by virtue of 
some old engagements, and though it was 
possible that the pretension might be success- 
fully combated, it would not be consistent with 
the policy and views of the Governor- General 
in Council to raise a question of this sort with 
the Netherlandish authorities. But in the 
event of his procuring satisfactory information 
concerning Johore, Sir T. S. Raffles was in- 
structed, on the supposition of Rhio being 
preoccupied by the Dutch, to open a negotia- 
tion with the chief of Johore on a similar 
basis to that contemplated at Rhio." 

Then follows a relation of the circumstances 
under which Singapore was selected by Raffles. 

" In order to avoid collision with the Dutch 
authorities. Sir T. S. Raffles determined to 
avoid Rhio, but to endeavour to establish a 
footing on some more unoccupied territory in 
which we might find a port and accommoda- 
tion for our troops, and where the British flag 
might be displayed pending a reference to the 
authorities in Europe. With this view he pro- 
ceeded to Singapore. On his arrival off the 
town a deputation came on board with the 
compliments and congratulations of the chief 
native authority and requested to know the 
object of the visit. Having inquired whether 
there was any Dutch settlement and flag at 
Singapore and at Johore, and whether the 
Dutch had by any means attempted to exercise 
an influence or authority over the ports, the 
deputation replied that Johore Lama, or Old 
Johore, had long been deserted ; that the chief 
authority over Singapore and all the adjacent 
islands (excepting those of Lingen and Rhio) 
then resided at the ancient capital of Singapore, 
where no attempts had yet been made to 
estabUsh the Dutch power and where no 
Dutch flag would be received." 

Such were the bald facts of the occupation 
as officially related about eighteen months after 
the hoisting of the British flag in the ancient 
Malay capital. The account ma}' be supple- 
mented with evidence from other quarters. 
Nothing is said in Mr. Jones's memorandum 
about visits paid by the mission to any other 
spot than Singapore, but it is familiar know- 
ledge that before proceeding to Singapore 
Raffles put in at the Karimun Islands and at 
Slack. His reasons for visiting these places 
may be conjectured from the recital given of 
the events which preceded his arrival at 
Pinang. Major Farquhar, as we have seen, 
was strongly in favour of the establishment of 
a port on the Karimun Islands — so strongly, 
indeed, that he had gone beyond his official 
province to prepare the way for an occupation, 
if such were deemed desirable by the higher 
authorities. What would be more natural in 
the circumstances than that he should induce 
Raffles at the very earliest moment to visit the 
spot which had struck him on his voyage to 
Pontiana as being so peculiarly adapted to the 
purposes of the new settlement? Whatever 
the underlying motive, we have interesting 
evidence of the circumstance that the Karimuns 
were visited, and that Raffles found there ample 
and speedy proof that the port was entirely 
unsuitable. The facts are. set forth in a report 
dated March i, 1819, presented to the Pinang 
Government by Captain Ross, of the East 

India Company's Marine. This ■ functionary, 
it appears, had on the 15th of January pro- 
ceeded to the Karimun Islands to carry out 
a survey in accordance with official instruc- 
tions, prompted, doubtless, by Major Farquhar's 
advocacy of the port. His report was entirely 
unfavourable to the selection of the islands. 
"The Small Kariman," he wrote, "rises 
abruptly from the water all round, and does 
not afford any situation for a settlement on it. 
The Great Kariman on the part nearest to the 
small one is also very steep, and from thence 
to the southward forms a deep bay, where the 
land is principally low and damp, with much 
mangrove along the shore, and three fathoms 
water at two and a half miles off. The 
channel between the two Karimans has deep 
water, fourteen and fifteen fathoms, in it, but 
it is too narrow to be used as a harbour." Sir 
Stamford Raffles was furnished with Captain 
Ross's opinion immediately on his arrival, and 
it was that apparently which caused him to 
turn his attention to Singapore. Recognising 
the value of expert marine opinion, he took 
Captain Ross with him across the Straits. The 
results of the survey which that officer made 
were embodied in a report, which may be given 
as an interesting historical document associated 
with the earliest days of the, life of the settle- 
ment. Captain Ross wrote : 

"Singapore Harbour, situate four miles to 
.the NNE. of St. John's Island (in what is com- 
monly called SInapore Strait), will afford a safe 
anchorage to ships in . all seasons, and being 
clear of hidden danger, the approach to it is 
rendered easy by day or night. Its position 
is also favourable for commanding the naviga- 
tion of the strait, the track which the ships 
pursue being distant about five miles ; and it 
may be expected from its proximity to the 
Malayan islands and the China Sea that in a 
short time numerous vessels would resort to 
it for commercial purposes. 

" At the anchorage ships are sheltered from 
ENE. round to north and west as far as SSW. 
by the south point of Johore, Singapoora, and 
many smaller islands extending to St. John's, 
and thence round to the north point of Batang 
(bearing ESE.) by the numerous islands form- 
ing the southern side of Singapoora Strait. 
The bottom, to within a few yards of shore, 
is soft mud and holds well. 

" The town of Singapoora, on the island of 
the same name, stands on a point of land near 
the western part of a bay, and is easily dis- 
tinguished by there being just behind it a 
pleasant-looking hill that is partly cleared of 
trees, and between the point on which the 
town is situate and the western one of the bay 
there is a creek in which the native vessels 
anchor close to the town, so it may be found 
useful to European vessels of easy draft to 
refill in. On the eastern side of the bay, 
opposite to the town, there is a deep inlet lined 
by mangroves, which would also be a good 
anchorage for native boats; and about north 
from the low sandy point of the bay there is a 
village inhabited by fishermen, and a short 
way to the eastward there is a passage through 
the mangroves leading to a fresh - water 
river. . . . 

" The coast to the eastward of the town bay 
is one continued sandy beach, and half-mile 

to the eastward of the eastern point of the bay, 
or two and a half from the town, there is a 
point where the depth of water is six or seven 
fathoms at three or four hundred yards from 
the shore, and at eight hundred yards a small 
bank with about three fathoms at low water. 
The point offers a favoui-able position for 
batteries to defend ships that may in time of 
war anchor near to it. 

"The tides during the napesare irregular at 
two or three miles off shore, but close in other- 
wise. The rise and fall will be about 10 and 12 
feet, and it will be high water on full and 
change at eight and a half hours. The latitude 
of the town is about 1° 15J North, and variation 
of the needle observed on the low eastern 
point of the bay is 2" 9 East." ' 

Nothing hardly could have been more 
satisfactory than this opinion by a capable 
naval officer upon the maritime aspects of 
Singapore. With it in his possession Raffles 
had no difficulty in coming to a decision. 
His experienced eye took in the splendid 
possibilities which the island offered for the 
purposes in hand. A practically uninhabited 
island with a fine roadstead, it could, with a 
minimum of difficulty and expense, be made 
into a commercial centre, while its command- 
ing position in the narrowest part of the Straits 
of Malacca it a political value beyond 
estimate. Impressed with these features of 
the situation, and swayed also, we may reason- 
ably assume, by the classical traditions of the 
spot. Raffles on January 29, 1819,=' ten days 
after quitting Pinang, hoisted the British flag 
on the island. The natural jubilation he felt 
at the accomplishment of his mission found 
vent in a letter to Marsden dated three days 
later. In this he wrote : " Here I am at 
Singapore, true to my word, and in the enjoy- 
ment of all the pleasure which a footing on 
such classic ground must inspire. The lines 
of the old city and of its defences are still to be 
traced, and within its ramparts the British 
Union waves unmolested." In the midst of 
his self-gratulation Raffles was not unmindful 
of the dangers which still hindered his plans 
from the jealousy of his rivals and the ignor- 
ance and indifference of the authorities at 
home. He made a special appeal to Marsden 
for support on behalf of his most recent 
attempt to extend British influence. "Most 
certainly," he wrote, " the Dutch never had a 
factory in the island of Singapore ; and it does 
not appear to me that their recent arrange- 
ments with a subordinate authority at Rhio can 
or ought to interfere with our permanent estab- 
lishment here. I have, however, a violent 
opposition to surmount on the part of the 
Pinang Government." 

Raffles no doubt had in his mind when he 
penned this appeal the possible effects of 
Dutch strenuousness combined with Pinang 
hostility on the weak and vacillating mind (as 
it appeared markedly at this time) of the 
Indian Government and the India Board. 
His position, however, had been greatly 
strengthened by arrangements which, after 
landing on the island, he had found it possible 
to make with the Dato' Temenggong of Johore, 
" " Straits Settlements Records," \'o. 70, p. 432. 
= In Raffles's " Memoir," by his wife, the date of 
the hoisting of the flag is given as the 29th of 
Fetiruary, but this is an obvious blunder. 



a high State official with great ill-defined 
powers, which placed him in a position almost 
of equality with the Sultan. This individual 
was resident on the island at the time of the 
visit of the mission, and he sought an interview 
with Raffles, in order to offer the British 
envoy his assistance in the execution of his 
designs. It fs probable that the offer was 
prompted more by hatred of the Dutch than 
love of the British. But Raffles was in no 
mood to examine too closely into the motives 
which dictated the Temenggong's action. 
Realising the value of his support, he con- 
cluded with him, on January 30th, a provisional 
understanding for the regularising of the 
occupation of the island. The Temenggong 
appears to have represented himself as the 
possessor of special rights, but Raffles deemed 
it expedient to secure the confirmation of the 
grant at the hands of the Sultan. It happened 
that at this time the ruling chief was Sultan 
Abdul Rahman, a man who was supported by 
the Dutch and was completely under their 
influence. Xo arrangement was possible with 
him, and Raffles must have known as much 
from the very first. But his fertile intellect 
speedily found a way out of the difficulty. The 
British envoy gathered from the Temenggong, 
and possibly was aware of the fact previously, 
that Abdul Rahman was the younger of two 
sons of the previous Sultan, and as his brother 
was living he was consequently a usurper. 
Without loss of time Raffles, through the 
Temenggong, sent to Riau for the elder 
brother, Tunku Husein, and on the latter's 

arrival in Singapore duly proclaimed him 
Sultan of Johore. Afterwards a formal treaty, 
dated February 6, 1819, was drawn up in which 
the new Sultan joined with the Temenggong 
in granting the British the right to settle on 
the island. This treaty was strengthened by 
three further agreements, one dated June 26, 
1 819, another. June, 1823, and the thfrd, 
November 19, 1824. But before the final treaty 
was concluded, and Raffles's dream of British 
domination at this point was realised, many a 
battle against prejudice and stupidity had to 
be fought. 

In a despatch dated February 13, 1819, 
reporting to the Supreme Government the 
occupation of the island. Raffles gave a mas- 
terly summary of its features and advantages. 
" Our station at Singapore," he wrote, " may be 
considered as an effectual check to the rapid 
march of the Dutch in the Eastern Archi- 
pelago, and vi^hether we may have the power 
hereafter of extending our stations or be com- 
pelled to confine ourselves to this factory, the 
spell is broken, and pne independent port under 
our flag may be sufficient to prevent the recur- 
rence of the system of exclusive monopoly 
which the Dutch once exercised in these seas 
and would willingly re-establish. Situated at 
the extremity of th? peninsula, all vessels to 
and from China vifi Malacca are obliged to 
pass within five miles of our headquarters, and 
generally pass within half a mile of St. John's, 
a dependent islet forming the western point of 
the bay, in which I have directed a small post 
to be fixed, and from whence every ship can 

be boarded if necessary, the water being 
smooth at all seasons. The run between 
these islands and the Carimons, which are in 
sight from it, can be effected in a few hours, 
and crosses the route which all vessels from 
the Netherlands must necessarily pursue when 
bound towards Batavia and the Eastern islands. 

" As a port for the refreshment and refitment 
of our shipping, and particularly for that por- 
tion of it engaged in the China trade, it is only 
requisite for me to refer to the able survey and 
report of Captain Ross, and to add to it that 
excellent water in convenient situations for the 
supply of ships is to be found in several places, 
and that the industrious Chinese are already 
established in the interior and may soon be 
expected to supply vegetables, &c., &c., equal 
to the demand. The port is plentifully sup- 
plied with fish and turtle, which are said to 
be more abundant here than in any part of the 
archipelago. Rice, salt, and other necessaries 
are always procurable from Siam, the granary 
of the Malay tribes in this quarter. Timber 
abounds in the island and its vicinity ; a large 
part of the population are already engaged in 
building boats and vessels, and the Chinese, 
of whom some are already engaged in smelting 
the ore brought from the tin mines on the 
neighbouring islands, and others employed as 
cultivators and artificers, may soon be expected 
to increase in a number proportionate to the 
wants and interests of the settlement. . . 

" A measure of the nature of that which we 
have adopted was in some degree necessary to 
evince to the varied and enterprising popula- 

(From "Skizzen aiis Singapur und Djohor.") 



tion of these islands that our commercial and 
political views in this quarter had not entirely 
sunk under the vaunted power and encroach- 
ment of the Dutch, and to prove to them that we 
were determined to make a stand against it. By 
maintaining our right to a free commerce with 
the Malay States and inspiring them with a 
confidence in the stability of it, we may con- 
template its advancement to a much greater 
extent than has hitherto been enjoyed. Inde- 
pendently of our commerce with the tribes of 
the archipelago, Singapore may be considered 
as the principal entrepot to which the native 
traders of Siam, Cambodia, Champa, Cochin 
China, and China will annually resort. It is 
to the Straits that their merchants are always 
bound in the first instance, and if on their 
arrival they can find a market for their goods 
and the means of supplying their wants, they 
will have no possible inducement to proceed to 
the more distant, unhealthy, and expensive port 
of Batavia. Siam, which is the granary of the 
countries north of the Equator, is rapidly ex- 
tending her native commerce, nearly the whole 
of which may be expected to centre at Singa- 
pore. The passage from China has been made 
in less than six days, and that number is all 
that is requisite in the favourable monsoon for 
the passage from Singapore to Batavia, Pinang, 
or Achin, while two days are sufficient for a 
voyage to Borneo." ' 

Singapore at the time of the British occupa- 
tion was a mere squalid fishing village, backed 
by a wi-ld, uninhabited country, the haunt of 
the tiger and other beasts of prey. But it was 
a place with a history. Six centuries before it 
had been the Constantinople of these Eastern 
seas, the seat of Malay learning and commerce, 
the focus of the commerce of two oceans and 
of part Of two continents. In the section of the 
work treating of the Federated Malay States a 
lengthy sketch is given of the rise of the Malay 
power, and it is only necessary here to deal very 
briefly with the subject. The most widely ac- 
cepted version of the foundation of Singapore is 
that contained in the " Sejara Malayu," or " Malay 
Annals," a famous work produced at Goa in the 
early seventeenth century from a Malay manu- 
script The story here set forth brings into 
prominence a line of Malay kings whose an- 
cestry is traced back by the record to Alexander 
the Great. The first of the line, Raja Bachi- 
tram Shah (afterwards known as Sang Sapurba), 
settled originally in Palembang, Sumatra, where 
he married a daughter of the local prince. He 
had a son, Sang Nila Utama, who was domi- 
ciled in Bentan, and who, like his father, 
formed a connection by marriage with the 
reigning dynasty. Finding Bentan too cir- 
cumscribed for his energies, Sang Nila, in 
1160, crossed the channel to Singapore and 
laid the foundations of what subsequently 
became known as the Lion City. Concerning 
this name Sir Frank Swettenham, the historian 
of the Malays, writes i " Singa is Sanscrit for a 
lion and Pura for a city, and the fact that there 
are no lions in that neighbourhood now cannot 
disprove the statement that Sang Nila Utama 
saw in 1160, or thereabouts, an animal which 
he called by that name — an animal more par- 
ticularly described by the annalist as very 
' swift and beautiful, its body bright red, its 
I " Straits Settlements Records," No. 182. 

head jet black, its breast white, in size rather 
larger than a he-goat.' That was the lion of 
Singapura, and whatever else is doubtful the 
name is a fact-; it remains to this day, and 
there is no reason why the descendant of 
Alexander should not have seen something 
which suggested a creature unknown either 
to the Malay forest or the Malay language. 
It is even stated, on the same authority, that 
Singapura had an earlier name, Tamasak, 
which is explained by some to mean ' a place 
of festivals.' But that word, so interpreted, is 
not Malay, though it has been adopted and 
applied to other places which suggest festivals 
far less than this small tropical island may 
have done, even so early as the year 1160. It 
is obvious that the name Singapura was not 
given to the island hy Malays, but by colonists 
from India, and if there were an earlier name, 
Tamasak or Tamasha, that also would be of 
Indian origin. The fact proves that the name 
Singapura dates from a very early period, and 
strongly supports the theory that the Malays 
of our time are connected with a people who 
emigrated from Southern India to Sumatra and 
Java, and thence found their way to the Malay 
Peninsula." ' 

Under Sang Nila's rule Singapore grew and 
flourished, and when he died, in 1208, he left 
it a place of considerable importance. His 
successors strengthened its position until it 
attained to a degree of prestige and im- 
portance without parallel in the history of 
any port in these seas. Its prosperity appears 
to have been its ruin, for it attracted the jealous 
notice of a Javanese prince, the Raja of Maja- 
pahit, and that individual formed a design to 
conquer the city. He was beaten off on the 
first attempt, but a second expedition de- 
spatched in 1377 achieved its object through 
the treachery of a high official. The inhabi- 
tants were put to the sword by the conquerors, 
and those of them who managed to escape 
ultimately settled in Malacca, where they 
founded a new city. After this Singapore 
declined in power, until it finally flickered out 
in the racial feuds which preceded the early 
European conquests. 

Raffles remained only a short time at Singa- 
pore after the occupation. His mission to 
Achin, which was associated with the suc- 
cession to the throne, brooked no delay. 
Moreover, he doubtless felt that, as far as 
the local situation was concerned, he was 
quite safe in leaving British interests in the 
capable hands of Major Farquhar. That Raffles 
appreciated to the fullest extent the value of 
the new settlement he had established is shown 
by his correspondence at this period. In a 
letter to the Duchess of Somerset from Pinang, 
whither he had returned to take up the threads 
of his new mission, he wrote under date Feb- 
ruary 22, 1819, describing the position of 
Singapore. "This," he said, "is the ancient 
maritime capital of the Malays, and within the 
walls of these fortifications, raised not less than 
six centuries ago, I have planted the British 
flag, where, I trust, it will long triumphantly 
wave." On June loth, when he had returned 
to Singapore after the completion of his work 
in Achin, he wrote to Colonel Addenbroke, the 

^ " British Malava," "by Sir Frank Swettenham, 
p. 13. 

equerry to Princess Charlotte, explaining in a 
communication of considerable length the poli- 
tical aspects of the occupation. " You will," 
he said, "probably have to consult the map 
in order to ascertain from what part of the 
world this letter is dated. I shall say nothing 
of the importance which I attach to the per- 
manence of the position I have taken up at 
Singapore ; it is a child of my own. But for 
my Malay studies I should hardly have known 
that such a place existed ; not only the Euro- 
pean but the Indian world was ignorant of it. 
I am sure you will wish me success ; and I will 
therefore only add that if my plans are con- 
firmed at home, it is my intention to make this 
my principal residence, and to devote the re- 
maining years of my stay in the East to the 
advancement of a colony which, in every way 
in which it can be viewed, bids fair to be one 
of the most important, and at the same time 
one of the least troublesome and expensive, 
which we possess. Our object is not territory, 
but trade ; a great commercial emporium and 
a fulcrum whence we may extend our influence 
politically as circumstances may hereafter re- 
quire. By taking immediate possession we 
put a negative to the Dutch claim of exclusion, 
and at the same time revive the drooping con- 
fidence of our allies and friends. One free 
port in these seas must eventually destroy the 
spell of Dutch monopoly, and what Malta is 
in the West, that may Singapore be in the 

These and other letters we have quoted, 
interesting in themselves as reflections of the 
mind of Raffles at this eventful period, are of 
special value from the light they throw on the 
controversy which from time to time has 
arisen as to Raffles's title to be regarded as the 
founder of Singapore. From beginning to end 
there is no sort of suggestion that the scheme, 
as finally carried out, was not Raffles's own. 
On the contrary, there is direct evidence that 
he acted independently, first in the statement 
of Lady Raffles that the plan was in his mind 
before he left England, and, second, in his 
letter to Marsden from off the Sandheads, in 
which he specifically indicates Singapore as 
the possible goal of his mission. 

Sir Frank Swettenham very fairly states the 
case in favour of Raffles in the chapter in his 
work= in which he deals with the early history 
of Singapore. " It is more than probable," he 
says, " that Raffles, by good luck and without 
assistance from others, selected Singapore as 
the site of his avowedly anti-Dutch pro-British 
station. The idea of such a port was Raffles's 
own ; for it is probable that his instructions 
were drafted on information supplied by him- 
self, and in that case it is noticeable that Rhio 
and Johore are indicated as likely places and 
not Singapore ; he went south with the express 
object of carrying out his favourite scheme 
before his masters would have time to change 
their minds, or his rivals to anticipate his de- 
sign. Colonel Farquhar wasonlj' there to help 
his senior, and it is certain that if there had 
been no Raffles in 1819 there would have been 
no British Singapore to-day." 

The actual occupation of Singapore was only 
the beginning of Raffles's work. Obvious as 

I " Memoir of Sir T. S. Raffles," p. 3S0. 
= " British Malaya," p. 70. 



the advantages of the situation were to those 
who knew the Straits, and palpable as was the 
necessity of strengthening British influence in 
these seas if it was not entirely to be wiped 
out, there continued a resolute opposition to 
the scheme on the part of the Pinang autho- 
rities. The hostility of these narrow-minded 
bureaucrats went to lengths which seem per- 
fectly incredible in these days. Immediately 
on receipt of the news of the occupation, on 
f'ebruary 14, .1819, Bannerman sat down and 
indited a minute which, with perfect frankness, 
revealed the jealous sentiments which animated 
the writer. He wrote: "The time is now 
come for throwing aside all false delicacy in 
the consideration of Sir Stamford Raffles's 
views and measures. I have long believed 
that there was a good deal of personal ambition 
and desire of distinction in his proceeding to 
the eastward and forming a settlement — at any 
rate, to add to his old, worn-out establishment 
at Bencoolen (so styled by himself in a letter to 
the Court of Directors dated 12th of April last). 
He has now obtained an island, which he is 
most anxious to aggrandise as soon as possible 
at the expense of his neighbours, and with as 
large a regular force as that stationed at Fort 
Marlborough. I have no doubt he has already 
determined to come and make Singapore the 
seat of his government, and Bencoolen its 

" I shall now only add that before the ex- 
piration of many months I feel convinced the 
merchants at Calcutta will learn that this new 
settlement may intercept the trade of this port, 
but can never restore the commerce they 
formerly enjoyed with the Eastern Archipelago, 
as the occupation by the Dutch of Java, Banca, 
the Moluccas, Rhio, the greater part of the 
Celebes, and of Borneo must enable that 
Power to engross the principal share." ' The 
petty spite of this diatribe is only exceeded by 
the colossal self-complacency and shortsighted- 
ness which it displays. And its tone was 
thoroughly in keeping with the dealings of the 
Pinang Government with the infant settlement. 
After Raffles had left Singapore to prosecute 
his mission to Achin, information was brought 
to the new settlement by Captain Ross, the 
officer who made the preliminary survey of 
Singapore, that the Dutch Governor of Malacca 
had strongly recommended the Government of 
Java to send up a force to seize the British de- 
tachment at Singapore. As in duty bound, 
Farquhar communicated the news to Colonel 
Bannerman, with a request for reinforcements 
to enable him to maintain his post in the event 
of attack. Colonel Bannerman's reply was a 
violently worded despatch refusing the aid 

" It must be notorious," he wrote in a minute 
he penned on the subject, " that any force we 
are able to detach to Singapoor could not resist 
the overpowering armament at the disposal of 
the Batavia Government, although its presence 
would certainly compel Major Farquhar to 
resist the Netherlanders, even to the shedding 
of blood, and its ultimate and forced submission 
would tarnish the national honour infinitely 
more seriously than the degradation which 
would ensue from the retreat of the small party 
now at Singapoor. 

' " Straits Settlements Records," No. 1S2A. 

"Neither Major Farquhar's honour as a 
soldier nor the honour of the British Govern- 
ment now require him to attempt the defence 
of Singapoor by force of arms against the 
Netherlanders, as he knows Sir Stamford 
Raffles has occupied that island in violation 
of the orders of the Supreme Government, 
and as he knows that any opposition from his 
present small party would be an useless and 
reprehensible sacrifice of men, when made 
against the overwhelming naval and military 
force that the Dutch will employ. Under these 
circumstances I am certain that Major Farquhar 
must be certain that he would not be justified 
in shedding blood in the maintenance of his 
port at present." 

Colonel Bannerman went on to state that he 
therefore proposed to send by the despatch 
prahu to Major Farquhar a letter in this tenor, 
together with other papers, and at the same time 
to forward a temperate and firm remonstrance 
to the Dutch Governor of Malacca, by means 
of which he hoped any violent projected 
measures would be deprecated without affect- 
ing in the slightest degree the national honour 
and credit. He also proposed that, as no 
other opportunity would probably occur for 
several weeks, a transport should be sent 
to Singapore with a further supply of six 
thousand dollars. " This last I am, however, 
surprised to learn that he should require so 
soon, for his small detachment has not been 
forty days at Singapore before it appears to 
have expended so large a sum as 15,000 dollars 
which was taken with it." 

The minute proceeded : " In proposing to 
send this transport to Major Farquhar I have 
another object in view. I have just had reason 
to believe that the Gauges and Ncarchiis (the 
only two vessels now at Singapore) are quite 
incapable of receiving on board the whole of 
the detachment there in the event of Major 
Farquhar's judgment deciding that a retreat 
from the port would be most advisable. If, 
therefore, one of the transports is victualled 
equal to one month's consumption for 250 men 
and sent to Singapore with authority given to 
Major Farquhar to employ her should her 
services be requisite, that officer will then have 
ample means for removing, whenever indis- 
pensably necessary, not only all his party, but 
such of the native inhabitants as may fear the 
Dutch vengeance, and whom it would be most 
cruel to desert." 

The minute went on to say that the transport 
would be a means of withdrawing the Singa- 
pore garrison in a British ship and saving the 
national character from a very great portion of 
the disgrace and mortification of having Major 
Farquhar embarked by the Dutch on their own 

Colonel Bannerman concluded as follows : 
" However invidious the task, I cannot close 
this minute without pointing out to the notice 
of our superiors the very extraordinary conduct 
of the Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen. He 
posts a detachment at Singapoor under very 
equivocal circumstances, without even the 
means of coming away, and with such de- 
fective instructions and slender resources that, 
before it has been there a month, its com- 
mander is obliged to apply for money to this 
Government, whose dutv it becomes to offer 

that officer advice and means against an event 
which Sir Stamford Raffles ought to have ex- 
pected, and for which he ought to have made 
an express provision in his instructions to that 

" My letters of the isth and 17th February 
will prove that upon his return from Singapore 
I offered him any supplies he might require 
for the detachment he had left there, and also 
earnestly called upon him to transmit instruc- 
tions to Major Farquhar for the guidance of his 
conduct in the possible event of the Nether- 
landers attempting to dislodge him by force of 
arms. Did he avail himself of my offer ? 
No, he set off for Achin and left Major Farquhar 
to shift for himself. In fact, he acted (as a 
friend of mine emphatically observed) like a 
man who sets a house on fire and then runs 
away." This extraordinary effusion reveals the 
animus and stupidity with which Raffles was 
pursued in the prosecution of his great design. 
But it does not stand alone. While Bannerman 
was doing his best to destroy RafHes's work by 
withholding much-needed support from the 
tiny force planted at Singapore, he was inditing 
highly-coloured despatches to the authorities in 
Calcutta and at home on the mischievousneSs 
of the policy that had been embarked upon. 
In one of these communications despatched to 
the Court of Directors on March 4, 1819, shortly 
after the news of the occupation had been 
received at Pinang, the irate official wrote : 
" My honourable employers will observe that 
the Governor-General in Council was pleased 
to grant the Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen 
a special commission to visit this presidency to 
execute important duties belonging to this 
Government, and already recommended by me 
under the most favourable auspices, and to 
make me the instrument of assisting that 
gentleman to aggrandise his own name and 
settlement at the expense of the character, 
dignity, and local influence of this Govern- 
ment." To Calcutta Bannerman addressed 
despatches condemning in unsparing terms 
the action that had been taken, and confidently 
looking for support in the line of policy he had 
pursued in opposition to Raffles. There was at 
the outset a disposition on the part of the 
Supreme Government to think that in despatch- 
ing Raffles on his mission they had been 
precipitate. Influenced by the news of Dutch 
aggressiveness, and impressed also probably 
by Bannerman's gloomy vaticinations upon 
the situation, they addressed a letter to Pinang 
expressing the view that it might be desirable 
to relinquish the mission. But their hesitation 
was only temporary. With the receipt of 
Raffles's own communications there was borne 
in upon them the importance of upholding his 
action. Then the storm broke upon Colonel 
Bannerman for the part he had played in 
obstructing the mission. In a despatch dated 
April 8, 1819, the Governor-General poured 
upon the unfortunate Governor a volume of 
censure such as has rarely been meted out to a 
high official. " With regard to the station 
established at Singapore," said the Governor- 
General, " though we are not prepared to 
express any final opinion upon the determina- 
tion adopted by Sir Stamford Raffles to occupy 
that harbour, we cannot think it was within 
the province of your Government to pronounce 



a decisive opinion upon a violation of his in- 
structions. Commissioned and entrusted by 
this Government, to this Government alone he 
was answerable. The instructions under which 
he acted, and which were communicated to 
your Government that you might the more 
readily promote the object, were adapted to 
the port of Rhio chiefly, and the probability 
that the Dutch might anticipate us there 
rendered it necessary to prescribe a line which 
was in that contingency to be followed with 
the utmost exactness. The same principle was 
in the subsequent instructions extended to 
Johore. In both cases the injunctions referred 
to the possible event of an apparent right 
having been actually advanced by the Dutch. 
But though the spirit of inculcation to avoid 
collision with the Dutch applied itself to any 
other position, it necessarily did so with a 
latitude suited to circumstances. 

" We think your Government entirely wrong 
in determining so broadly against the propriety 
of the step taken by Sir Stamford Raffles on 
a simple reclamation from the Governor of 
Malacca, which, whether well or ill, founded, 
was to be looked for as certain. . . . 

" Under these circumstances it does not 
appear to us that any doubts which may be 
excited at the present stage of the business 
could be a legitimate principle for your 
guidance, so as to exonerate you from the 
obligation of fulfilling our directions for your 
supporting Sir Stamford Raffles with a moderate 
force should he establish a station on the 
Eastern sea. So far do we regard you from 
being freed fronl the call to act upon our instruc- 
tions, that we fear you would have difficulty 
in excusing yourselves should the Dutch be 
tempted to violence by the weakness of the 
detachment at Singapore and succeed in dis- 
lodging it. Fortunately there does not appear 
the likelihood of such an extremity. Repre- 
sentations will be made to this Government, 
and investigations must be set on foot ; in 
the interval which these will occupy, we have 
to request from your Government every aid to 
the factory at Singapore. The jealousy of it 
which we lament to have been avowed and 
recorded would find no tolerance with the 
British Government should misfortune occur 
and be traceable to neglects originating in such 
a feeling. Whether the measure of occupying 
it should ultimately be judged to have been 
indiscreetly risked or otherwise, the procedure 
must be upheld, unless we shall be satisfied 
(which is not now the case) that perseverance 
in maintaining the port would be an infraction 
of equity." 

In a private letter, of somewhat earlier date, 
the Governor-General explained at some length 
the principles which had guided him in entrust- 
ing the mission to Raffles. He wrote : " It is 
impossible to form rational directions for the 
guidance of any mission without allowing a 
degree of discretion to be exercised in con- 
tingencies which, though foreseen, cannot be 
exactly measured, but the particular principle 
by which Sir Stamford Raffles was to be ruled 
was so broadly and positively marked as to 
admit no excuse for proceedings inconsistent 
with its tenor. For that reason I have to infer 
the unlikelihood of his hazarding anything 
contrary to our wishes. . 

" We never meant to show such obsequious- 
ness to the Dutch as to forbear securing those 
interests of ours which tljey had insidiously 
and basely assailed out of deference to the 
title which they were disposed to advance of 
supremacy over every island and coast of the 
Eastern Archipelago. It was to defeat that 
profligate speculation that we commissioned 
Sir Stamford Raffles to aim at obtaining some 
station which would prevent the entire com- 
mand of the Straits of Malacca from falling 
into the hands of the Dutch, there being many 
unpossessed by them and not standing within 
any hitherto asserted pretensions." 

Bannerman replied to this letter in a " hurried 
note," in which he said that he bowed with 
deference to his lordship's views. " I have," 
he went on, "received a lesson which shall 
teach me how I again presume to offer opinions 
as long as I live." He trusted his lordship 
would perceive from their despatch in reply 
" that our respect and attachment have in no 
degree abated, and that though we have not 
the elation of success we still do not possess 
the suUenness of discomfiture." The despatch 
referred to (dated May i8, 1819), entered at 
lenglh into the controversy, extenuating the 
course that the Pinang authorities had taken, 
and asking that if Singapore was retained it 
should be placed under the Pinang Govern- 
ment. The despatch concluded : 

" I am sorry, my lord, to have trespassed so 
long on your time, but 1 have a whole life of 
character to defend, and in this vindication I 
hope I have not borne harder than what is 
necessary upon Sir S. Raffles and others. I 
have taken particular care to have here no 
personal controversy or cause of personal dis- 
pute with that gentleman. On the contrary he 
and his amiable lady have received from me 
since their first arrival from Calcutta every 
personal civility and attention which your 
Excellency had desired me to show them in 
your lordship's private communication of the 
29th of November, and which my public situa- 
tion here rendered it incumbent on me to offer. 
Illiberal or malicious revenge, I thank God, 
my heart knows not, and has never known. 
The revenge which may be apparent in this 
address is only such as justice imperiously 
required and morality sanctioned. Its only 
objects were to procure reparation for the 
injury I have sustained, and to promote the 
just ends of punishment." » 

Just prior to the receipt of the final crushing 
despatch from the Governor-General, Colonel 
Bannerman had forwarded to the Court of 
Directors at home a long communication, in 
which he marshalled, not without skill, the 
familiar arguments against the occupation of 
Singapore. He concluded with this passage : 
" It will now remain for the Honourable Court 
to decide whether the occupation of Singapore 
by Sir Stamford Raffles is an equivalent for the 
certain ill-will it has excited against us from 
the Dutch authorities in India, for the enormous 
expense it has saddled on the India Company, 
and for the probable disaster it has entailed on 
all the negotiations contemplated between the 
two Courts in Europe." This communication 
was written on the 24th of June. A week later 
another letter was forwarded. It was couched 
"Straits Settlements Records," No. 182A. 

in terms indicative of the heaviness of the 
blow which had fallen upon the old soldier- 
administrator. Bannerman wrote : " We now 
beg leave to submit to your Honourable Court 
the letter which we have received from the 
Most Noble the Governor-General in Council 
in reply to all our despatches and references 
on the subject of the Achin mission and Sir 
Stamford Raffles's Eastern mission, and we feel 
the most poignant sorrow in acquainting your 
Honourable Court that this despatch conveys 
to us sentiments of reproof and animadversion 
from that exalted authority instead of approval 
and commendation, which we confess to have 
expected with the fullest confidence. 

" We had as full a knowledge of the in- 
structions of the Supreme Government on 
these matters as Sir S. Raffles himself had, unless 
(which our duty will not allow us to believe) 
Sir S. Raffles had actually, as he always stated 
to our President, other verbal orders from the 
Governor-General which appeared diametri- 
cally opposite to the spirit and letter of his 
written instructions, and we had certainly as 
lively and a more immediate interest from 
proximity to uphold the welfare and advantage 
of the public interest in this quarter." 

The despatch proceeded to state that the 
Governor and his Council offered " such ah 
explanation as a sense of duty and a regard 
for our personal honour and reputation point 
out to us " ; and then added that if their remarks 
had the effect of averting from that Govern- 
ment the accusation of its being actuated by 
jealousy or other motives of an invidious nature 
they would be fully satisfied. Then followed 
this parting shot at the occupation : 

" Relative to the new establishment of Singa- 
pore, your Honourable Court will now be 
enabled to judge whether the violent measure 
of occupying such in defiance of the Dutch 
claims will eventually prove more beneficial to 
your or the national interests in the Eastern 
Archipelago than would have been effected by 
the adoption of the mild, conciliating, and, we 
may say, economical policy recommended so 
strenuously by this Government in pursuance 
of the original views of the Governor-General. 
The commercial advantages of Singapore, 
whilst the Dutch hold the places of growth and 
manufacture of the great staples of the Eastern 
Archipelago, appear to us more than proble- 
matical. Your Honourable Court may recollect 
that the first occupation of this island gave rise 
to similar extravagant prognostications of great 
commercial benefits, so little of which have ever 
been realised, although it has cost the India 
Company a debt of nearly four million sterling 
in enlarging and improving its capacity. . . . 
On the other hand, the political advantages of 
Singapore in time of war appear to us still 
less, and by no means necessary whilst in 
possession of such immense resources in India, 
which we can always bring in less than a 
month after the declaration of war against any 
settlements that the Dutch may form in these 

Colonel Bannerman was not content to rely 
on the despatches for his justification. Accom- 
panying them he sent letters to the Chairman 
and Deputy-Chairman of the Court, in which 
he said that he hoped and trusted that all his 
proceedings in respect to Singapore "will bear 



mc out in the declaration which I now solemnly 
and on my honour and conscience utter, that 
the interests and only the interests of my 
honourable employers have influenced and 
directed the whole of my conduct, and that I 
had on the occasion no other personal interest 
excepting a very strong one not to do what I 
considered my duty from the view of the very 
event which has now happened — the possibility 
of my opposition to Sir Stamford Raffles being 
imputed to so base and ignoble a motive as 
petty jealousy." The Court of Directors proved 
scarcely more sympathetic than the Supreme 
Government had shown themselves. They re- 
plied in a despatch in which, while conceding 
that Bannerman had been actuated by a sense 
of duty, they expressed regret that he had been 
betrayed by the warmth of discussion into an 
imputation upon Sir Stamford Raffles's motives 
" totally irreconcilable with every principle of 
public duty." The unfortunate Governor was 
saved this final stinging rebuke. Before the 
despatch reached Pinang — before, indeed, it 
was written — he had gone to his last account. 
Worn out with worry and depressed by the 
mortification of defeat, he died on August i, 
1819. He was in some respects an excellent 
administrator, but he lacked conspicuously the 
qualities of foresight and force of character 
necessary in such a situation as that in which he 
found himself in the closing days of his career. 
His treatment of Sir Stamford Raffles and his 
general handling of the crisis precipitated by 
the aggressive polic>' of the Dutch will always 
remain a monumental example of official in- 

While the authorities at home were not 
disposed to back up Colonel Bannerman, they 
were little inclined to support Sir Stamford 
Raffles. When news of the occupation reached 
London, the Secret Committee of the East 
India Company, who had previously written 
to Lord Hastings disapproving of the mission, 
wrote a violently worded despatch in which 
they declared that " any difficulty with the 
Dutch will be created by Sir Stamford Raffles's 
intemperance of conduct and language." They 
graciously intimated, however, that they would 
await the further explanations of Lord Hastings 
" before retaining or relinquishing Sir Stamford 
Raffles's acquisition at Singapore." 

Downing Street joined with Leadenhall 
Street in angry pronouncements upon what 
both regarded as an ill-advised and ill-timed 
display of excessive zeal on the part of a 
reckless subordinate. A premonition of the 
storm must have been borne in upon Raffles, 
for at the very earliest stage of the occupation 
he took measures to explain the importance of 
Singapore to influential personages at home 
who would be able to raise their voices with 
effect in the event of any retrograde policy 
being favoured. To Marsden he wrote at 
regular intervals with the express object, we 
may assume, of enlisting his powerful support. 
On January 31, 1819, the day of the signature 
of the treaty with the Dalo' Tcmenggong, 
Raffles addressed the following to his friend : 

"This place possesses an excellent harbour 
and everything that can be desired for a British 
port, and the island of St. John's, which forms 
the SW. point of the harbour. W'c have com- 
manded an intercourse with all the ships 

passing through the Straits of Singapore. We 
are within a week's sail of China, close to 
Siam and in the very seat of the Malayan 
Empire. This, therefore, will probably be my 
last attempt. If I am deserted now I must 
fain return to Bencoolen and become philo- 

Writing later, on February 19th, Raffles 
says : 

" In short, Singapore is everything we could 
desire, and I ma\' consider myself most for- 
tunate in the selection ; it will soon rise into 
importance, and with this single station alone I 
would undertake to counteract all the plans of 
Mynheer ; it breaks the spell, and they are no 
longer the exclusive sovereigns of Eastern 

Again, under date June 15, 1819, Raffles 
writes : 

" I am happy to inform you that everything 
is going on well here ; it bids fair to be the 
next port to Calcutta ; all we want now is the 
certainty of permanent possession, and this, of 
course, depends on authorities beyond our 
control. You may take my word for it this is 
by far the most important station in the East, 
and as far as naval superiority and commercial 
interests are concerned, of much higher value 
than whole continents of territory." 

Raffles's unwavering confidence in the future 
of Singapore, expressed so trenchantly in these 
letters, convinced his friends at home of the 
value of the acquisition he had made ; but his 
enemies and rivals were persistent, and for a 
long time the fate of the settlement hung in 
the balance. Echoes of the discussions from 
time to time reached Raffles in the Straits, and 
he was naturally affected by them. More in 
sorrow than in anger we find him writing on 
July 17, 1820 : " I learn with much regret the 
prejudice and the malignity by which I am 
attacked at home for the desperate struggle I 
have maintained against the Dutch. Instead of 
being supported by my own Government, I 
find them deserting me and giving way in 
every instance to the unscrupulous and enor- 
mous assertions of the Dutch. All, however, 
is safe so far, and if matters are only allowed 
to remain as they are, all will go well. The 
great blow has been struck, and, though I may 
personally suffer in the scuffle, the nation must 
be benefited. Were the value of Singapore 
properly appreciated, I am confident that all 
England would be in its favour. It positively 
takes nothing from the Dutch, and is to us 
everything ; it gives us the command of China 
and Japan, vui Siam and Cambodia, Cochin 
China, &c., to say nothing of the islands them- 
selves. . . Let the commercial interests for 
the present drop every idea of a direct trade to 
China, and let them concentrate their influence 
in supporting Singapore, and they will do ten 
times better. As a free port it is as much to 
them as the possession of Macao ; and it is here 
their voyages should finish. . . . Singapore 
may as a free port thus become tlie connecting 
link and grand ciihifol between Europe, Asia, 
and China ; it is, in fact, fast becoming so," 

Again, writing on July 22, 1820, Raffles further 
alludes to the talk of abandonment. "It appears 
to me impossible that Singapore should be 
given up, and yet the indecisive manner in 
which the Ministers express themselves, .and 

the unjust and harsh terms they use towards 
me, render it doubtful what course they will 

Happily his confidence in the convincing 
strength of the arguments for retention was 
justified. The Marquess of Hastings, after his 
first lapse into timidity, firmly asserted the 
British claim to maintain the occupation. In 
replying to a despatch from Baron 'Vander 
Capellan, Governor-General of Netherlands 
India, protesting against the British action, 
his lordship maintained that the chiefs who 
ceded Singapore were perfectly independent 
chiefs, fully competent to make arrangements 
with respect to Singapore. He intimated, 
however, that if it should prove on fuller 
information that the Netherlands Government 
possessed a right to the exclusive occupation 
of Singapore, the Government would, " without 
hesitation, obey the dictates of justice by with- 
drawing all our establishments from the place." 
Some time later, in July, 1819, the Marquess of 
Hastings addressed another despatch, in which 
he outlined at some length the views of the 
Supreme Government of India in reference to 
the Dutch claims. He affirmed that a manifest 
necessity existed for counteracting the Dutch 
exertions to secure absolute supremacy in the 
Eastern seas ; that the views of the British 
Government had always been confined to the 
security of British commerce ancl the freedom 
of other nations ; that it was held that the 
Dutch had no just claim founded on engage- 
ments which might have been made with the 
native princes before the transfer of Malacca 
in 1795 ; that their only right depended on 
the treaty concluded at Riau on November 26, 
1818, but which was subsequent to the one 
entered into by Major Farquhar on the part 
of the British Government with the Govern- 
ment of Riau as an independent State in the 
August preceding ; that under this view the 
Dutch had adopted the most injurious and 
extraordinary proceeding of making a treaty 
declaring that of the British to be null and 
void ; and that the Dutch authorities who 
transferred Malacca in 1795 had declared that 
Riau, Johore, Pahang and Lingen, through the 
first of which the Dutch claimed Singapore, 
were not dependencies of Malacca. In a 
further despatch, dated August 21, 1819, 
Hastings closed the controversy, as far as his 
Government was concerned, by reaffirming 
the untenability of the Dutch claims and 
declaring that the sole object Of the British 
Government was to protect its own interests 
against what had appeared an alarming in- 
dication of pretensions to supremacy and 
monopoly on the part of the Netherlandish 
authorities in seas hitherto free to all parties. 
The dispute continued to rage in Europe for 
some time after this, the Dutch pressing their 
claims with characteristic tenacity upon the 
attention of the British Government. Indeed, 
it was not until 1824, when a general settle- 
ment was arrived at between the two Govern- 
ments, that the final word was said on the 
subject of Singapore. The advocacy of power- 
ful friends whose aid Raffles was able to 
invoke unquestionably had considerable in- 
fluence in securing the ultimate verdict in 
favour of retention. But the concession was 
grudgingly made, and Raffles was left to reap 



the reward of his prescient statesmanship in 
the linowledge that he had won for his country 
this great strategical centre in the Eastern sea. 
It is a chapter in British colonial history 
which redounds little to the credit of either 
the British official world or the British people. 
Their sole excuse is that they were ignorant 
and acted ignorantly. The age was one in 
which scant thought was given to question-, 
of world policy, which now are of recognised 
importance. Moreover, long years of war, in 
which the country had been reduced to the 
point of exhaustion, had left people little in 
the mood to accept new responsibilities which 
carried with lliem (he possibility of inter- 
national strife. Still, when every allowance 
is made for the circumstances of the time, it 
must be conceded that the treatment of Raffles 
at this period, and the subsequent neglect of 
his memory, have left an indelible stain upon 
the reputation of his countrymen for generosity. 


The Buildin'g of the City. 

Viewing the Singapore of to-day, with its 
streets thronged with a cosmopolitan crowd 
drawn from every quarter of the globe, its 
bustling wharves instinct with a vigorous com- 
mercial life, and its noble harbour, in which 
float every kind of craft, from the leviathan 
liner of 10,000 tons to the tiny Malay fishing 
boat, it is difficult to realise that less than a 
century ago the place was nothing more than 
a small Malay settlement, in which a mere 
handful of natives eked out a precarious exis- 
tence by fishing, with an occasional piratical 
raid on the adjoining coasts. Yet if there is 
one fact more conclusive than another in the 
history of this great port, it is that it is a pure 
product of British foresight, energy, and com- 
mercial aptitude. Discovering an incomparable 
position, the Empire builders, represented by 
Raffles and his lieutenants and successors, 
dug deep and wide the foundations of the 
city, and the genius and enterprise of British 
merchants did the rest. Sometimes it has 
happened that a great colonial city has attained 
to eminence through accidental causes, as, for 
example, in the cases of Kimberley and 
Johannesburg. But Singapore owes nothing 
of its greatness to adventitious aids. As we 
have seen in the extracts cited from Raflles's 
letters, its ultimate position of importance in the 
Empire was accurately forecasted ; before one 
stone had been laid upon another the founders 
knew that they were designing what would 
be no "mean city" — a commercial entrepot 
which would vie with the greatest in the 

From the practical point of view there were 
many advantages in the situation which RafHes 
found when he occupied Singapore. Rights 
of property there were none outside the 
interests of the overlord, which were readily 
satisfied by the monetary allowance provided 
for under the treaties with the Sultan and the 
Temenggong. There was no large resident 
population to cause trouble and friction, and 

there were no local laws to conllict with 
British juridical principles. In fine. Rallies 
and his associates had a clL'an slate on which 
to draw at their fancy the lines of the settle- 
ment. They drew with perspicacity and a 
courageous faith in the future. We catch 
occasional glimpses of the life of the infant 
settlement as reflected in the oflicial literature 
of the period or in the meagre columns of the 
Pinang newspaper. In the very earliest days 
of the occupation an incoming ship from China 
reports, we may imagine with a sharp note of 
interrogation, the presence of four ships in the 
roadstead at Singapore and of tents on the 
shore. The Stores Department is indented 
on for building materials, food supplies, and 
for munitions of war, including a battery of 
i8-pounder guns, with a hundred rounds of 
ammunition per gun. Invalids from the island 
arrive, and are drafted to the local hospital 
for treatment. Then comes crowning evidence 
that the settlement is really growing and 
thriving in this interesting domestic announce- 
ment in the C(5lumns of the Prince of Wales 
Island Gazette of August 7, 1819. " Sincapore 
birth. — On the 25th of July, Mrs. Barnard of a 
daughter. This is the first birth at the new 

The first official step in the creation of the 
new Singapore was the issue on February 6, 
1819, by Sir Stamford Raffles, of a proclamation 
announcing the, conclusion of the treaty which 
made the place a British settlement. Simulta- 
neously Rallies addressed to Colonel Farquhar 
(as he had now become) a letter instructing 
him as to the course he was to pursue in all 
matters aflecting the settlement. By this 
time the general lines of the new town had 
been provisionally settled. The site of the 
settlement was fixed on the identical spot 
which Raffles beHeved, from the perusal of 
Malayan history, was occupied by the old city. 
Beyond the erection of a few temporary 
buildings and the tracing of one or two 
necessary roads, little seems to have been done 
during the first few months of the occupation, 
probably because of the uncertainty in which 
the future of the place was enshrouded in 
consequence of the political complications. 
But on Raffles's return to Singapore on the 
completion of his mission to Achin, he devoted 
himself in earnest to the task of devising 
arrangements for the administration of the 
important port which his instinct told him 
would spring up phoenix-like out of the ashes 
of the dead and half-forgotten Malay city. 
The plan which he finally evolved is sketched 
in an elaborate letter of instructions, dated 
June 26, 1819, which he addressed to Farquhar 
just prior to his second departure from the 
island. The European town, he directed, 
should be erected without loss of time. This, 
he estimated, should extend along the beach 
for a distance of 200 yards from the lines as far 
eastward as practicable, and should include as 
mucli of the ground that had already been 
cleared of the Bugis as was required, the 
occupants being reimbursed for the expense 
they had been put to in making the clearances, 
and given other ground in lieu of the sites first 
chosen. He directed that for the time being 
the space lying between the new road and the 
beach should be reserved for Government, 

while the aiea on the opposite side of the road 
should be immediately marked out into twelve 
separate allotments, with an equal frontage, to 
be appropriated to the first ropcclable Euro- 
pean applicants. In practice it was found 
impossible to adhere to this plan. The mer- 
chants were indisposed to build along the 
north beach on the space allotted to them, 
owing to the inconvenience to shipping 
resulting from the low level of the beach. 
Farquhar, to relieve the situation, granted 
them permission to appropriate the Govern- 
ment reserved land on the left bank of the 
river, on the understanding that they must be 
prepared to mo\e if required to do so. In 
October, 1822, when Raflles returned to take 
over the Government of the island, he found 
that a number of houses had already been 
built on the reserved ground. He appointed 
a committee consisting of three disinterested 
persons — Dr. Wallich of Calcutta, Dr. Lumsdain 
and Captain Salmond of Bencoolen— to assist 
him in fixing a new ^ite for the town. After 
much consideration it was decided to level a 
small hill on the south side, on the site of what 
is now Commercial Square, and with the earth 
from this hill to raisp the land on the south 
bank of the river and so create new building 
sites. This scheme was ultimately carried out, 
and in association with it were executed 
arrangements for the expropriation on fair 
terms of all who had built with the Resident's 
permission on the north bank. A few of the 
buildings on this side were allowed to remain 
and were subsequently used for public offices. 

While the levelling operations for the new 
settlement were proceeding the workmen un- 
earthed near the mouth of the river a flat stone 
bearing an inscription in strange characters. Of 
the finding of this relic and its subsequent fate 
we have a vivid contemporary description in 
a Malay work written by .■Vbdullah, Raflles's old 
assistant. Abdullah wrote : " At the time there 
was found, at the end of the Point, buried in 
jungle, a smooth square-sided stone, about 
6 feet long, covered with chiselled characters. 
No one could read the characters, for they had 
been exposed to the action of the sea-water 
for God knows how many thousands of ye.trs. 
When the stone was discovered people of every 
race went in crowds to see it. The Hindus 
said the writing was Hindu, but they could 
not read it. The Chinese said it was Chinese. 
I went with Sir Stamford Raflles and the Rev. 
M. Thompson and others, and to me it seemed 
that the letters resembled Arabic letters, but I 
could not decipher them owing to the ages 
during which the stone had been subject to the 
rise and fall of the tides. 

" Numbers of clever people came to read the 
inscription ; some brought soft dough and took 
an impi-ession, while others brought black ink 
and smeared it over the stone in order to make 
the writing plain. Every one exhausted his 
ingenuity in attempts to ascertain the nature 
of the characters and the language, but all 
without success. So the stone remained 
where it lay, with the tide washing it every 
day. Then Sir Stamford Raffles decided that 
the writing was in the Hindu character, 
because the Hindus were the first people to 
come to these parts, to Java, Bali, and Siam, 
whose people are all descended from Hindus. 



But not a man in Singapore could say what 
was the meaning of the words cut on that 
stone ; therefore only God knows. And the 
stone remained there till Mr. Bonham became 
Governor of Singapore, Pinang, and Malacca 
(1837-43). At that time Mr. Coleman was the 
Government engineer at Singapore, and he, 
sad to tell, broke the stone. In my opinion 
it was a very improper thing to do, but per- 
haps it was due to his stupidity and ignorance 
and because he could not understand the 
writing that he destroyed the stone. It never 
occurred to him that there might be others 
more clever than himself who could unravel 
the secret ; for I have heard that there are 
those in England who are able to read such 
a riddle as this with ease, whatever the lan- 
guage, whoever the people who wrote it. As 
the Malays say, ' What you can't mend, don't 
destroy.' " 

It is difficult to find a more adequate char- 
acterisation of this piece of silly vandalism on 
the part of Mr. Coleman than that contained 
in Abdullah's scathing criticism. The motives 
which prompted the act are difficult to con- 
ceive, but whatever they were the secret of 
the stone was effectually concealed by the 
destructive operations. Some fragments col- 
lected subsequently found their way to Calcutta, 
to supply the savants there with a knotty 
problem to puzzle over, and from time to 
time discussion has arisen in Singapore itself 
over the historic debris. We are still, how- 
ever, as far as ever from discovering the key 
to the mystery. Perhaps the most plausible 
explanation is that of Lieutenant Begbie, who 
writing in 1834, suggested that the stone was 
identical with a tablet or tablets mentioned in 
the " Malay Annals " and relating to a conflict 
between a Singapuri Samson named Badang 
and a rival from the Coromandel coast. 
Badang won great fame as the victor in the 
fight, and when he died he was buried at the 
mouth of the Singapore river, and the Coro- 
mandel King sent two stones to place over 
his grave. The stone unearthed at the build- 
ing of the town, it was argued by Lieutenant 
Begbie, must have been one of these. The 
controversy may be left at this point. It is 
really now only of interest to illustrate the 
paucity of the antiquarian remains of which 
Singapore can boast. 

Farquhar's share in the building of the new 
settlement was a considerable one. He cleared 
the jungle and drove roads in all directions, 
always with a keen eye to future possibilities. 
Perhaps his finest conception was the esplanade, 
which is still one of the most attractive features 
of the city. While the work of laying out the 
new port was proceeding, merchants, both 
European and native, attracted by the news 
of the occupation and the promise it brought 
of future prosperity, were flocking to the spot, 
eager to have a share in the trade which they 
rightly calculated was bound to grow up under 
the protecting shadow of the British flag. 
Farquhar may be left to tell the story of this 
early " rush." In a letter to Raffles, dated 
March 21, 1820, he wrote : " Nothing can 
possibly exceed the rising trade and general 
prosperity of this infant colony ; indeed, to 
look at our harbour just now, where upwards 
of twenty junks, three of which are from China 

and two from Cochin China, the rest from 
Siam, and other vessels are at anchor, besides 
ships, brigs, prows, &c., &c., a person would 
naturally exclaim. Surely this cannot be an 
establishment of only twenty months' stand- 
ing ! One of the principal Chinese merchants 
has told me in the course of conversation that 
he would be very glad to give 500,000 dollars 
for the revenue of Singapore five years hence ; 
merchants of all descriptions are collecting 
here so fast that nothing is heard in the shape 
of complaint but the want of more ground 
to build on. The swampy ground on the 
opposite side of the river is now almost 
covered with Chinese houses, and the Bugis 
village is become an extensive town. Settle- 
ments are forming up the different rivers, 
and from the public roads which have been 
made the communication to various parts 
of the country is now quite open and con- 

In July of the same year Raffles himself, in a 
letter to a friend in England, describes in glow- 
ing terms the progress of the work of develop- 
ment. "My settlement," he wrote, " continues 
to thrive most wonderfully ; it is all and every- 
thing I could wish, and if no untimely fate 
awaits it, it promises to become the emporium 
and pride of the East." Happily no untimely 
fate did overtake it. Despite the jealousy and 
obstructiveness of Pinang, notwithstanding 
the indifference and neglect of the home 
authorities and apprehensions born of " a 
craven fear of greatness," the progress of the 
port was continuous. Two years and a half 
after the occupation we find Raffles estimating 
that the exports and imports of Singapore by 
native boats alone exceeded four millions of 
dollars in the year, and that during the whole 
period of the brief life of the settlement no 
fewer than 2,889 vessels had entered and 
cleared from the port, of which 383 were 
owned and commanded by Europeans. In 
1822 the tonnage had risen to 130,689 tons, 
and the total value of the trade to upwards of 
eight millions of dollars. Two years later the 
annual trade had increased in value to upwards 
of thirteen millions of dollars. It would be 
difficult to discover in the whole history of 
British colonisation, fruitful as it is in instances 
of successful development, a more remarkable 
example of rapid growth. 

No small share of the brilliant success achieved 
in the founding of Singapore was unquestion- 
ably due to the liberal policy Raffles introduced 
from the outset. He foresaw that to attempt 
to build up the prosperity of the place on the 
exclusive principles of the Dutch, or even on 
the modified system of restrictive trade obtain- 
ing at our own ports, would be to foredoom the 
settlement to failure. The commerce of the 
port, to obtain any degree of vigour, he under- 
stood, must be absolutely unfettered. Again 
and again he insists upon this point in his 
correspondence, pleading and fighting for the 
principle with all the earnestness of ■ his 
strenuous nature. Free the trade was from 
the beginning, and though later attempts were 
made to tamper with the system, Singapore has 
continued to this day in the enjoyment of the 
liberal and enlightened constitution with which 
Raffles endowed it. 

Many stupid things were done by the 

authorities in connection with the early his- 
tory of Singapore, but it will always remain 
to their credit that they entrusted to Raffles 
the task of establishing the administrative 
machinery there on a permanent footing. 
Ordered from Bencoolen to Singapore in 
September, 1822, Raffles, with a light heart 
and heightened expectations, embarked upon 
what was to him a labour of love. His wide 
experience in Java and at Bencoolen, aided by 
his natural ability, enabled him without diffi- 
culty to devise a sound working constitution 
for the new colony. Recognising that the 
prosperity of the settlement depended upon 
adequate facilities for shipping, he caused the 
harbour and the adjacent coasts to be carefully 
surveyed from Diamond Point to the Karimun 
Islands. The sale of land was carefully regu- 
lated, with due regard, on the one hand, to 
Government interests, and on the other to the 
development of trade. For the better safe- 
guarding of rights he caused a land registry 
to be established — a step which proved of 
immense value in the later history of the 
colony. A code of regulations designed to 
suit the needs of a mixed community of the 
class of that already settled in the town was 
drawn up, and Raffles himself sat in court to 
enforce them. He also established a local 
magistracy as a means of strengthening the 
administration of the law and creating a sense 
of responsibility in the communitj'. As in 
Bencoolen he had interested himself in the 
moral well-being of those entrusted to his 
charge, so here he gave serious consideration 
to the problem of training the youths of the 
settlement to be good citizens. The outcome 
of his deliberations was the framing of a 
scheme for the founding of an institution for 
the study of Chinese and Malay literature. 
Early in 1822 the project assumed a practical 
shape in the establishment of the famous 
Singapore Institute. It was Raffles's desire 
to give further strength to the cause of edu- 
cational progress in the colony by the transfer 
to Singapore of the Anglo-Chinese College at 
Malacca. But his proposals under this head 
were thwarted by the action of a colleague 
and the idea had reluctantly to be abandoned. 
By the beginning of June, 1823, Raffles had 
so far advanced the work entrusted to him 
that he was able to hand over the charge of 
the settlement to Mr, Crawfurd, who had been 
appointed to administer it. Somewhat earlier 
Raffles is revealed writing to a friend contrasting 
the bustle and prosperity of Singapore with the 
stagnation and costliness of his old charge. 
" At Bencoolen," he wrote, " the public expenses 
are more in one month than they are at Singa- 
pore in twelve. The capital turned at Bencoolen 
never exceeds 400,000 dollars in a year, and 
nearly the whole of this is in Company's bills 
on Bengal, the only returns that can be made ; 
at Singapore the capital turned in a year ex- 
ceeds eight millions, without any Government 
bills or civil establishment whatever." ■ Further 
suggestive facts were given by Raffles in a 
letter he wrote to the Supreme Government on 
January 15, 1823. In this he stated that the 
average annual charge for the settlement for 
the first three years of its establishment had 
not exceeded 60,000 Spanish dollars. " I had 
■ " Memoir of Sir T. S. RafHes," p. 532. 



anticipated," he proceeded, " tlic satisfaction of 
constructing all necessary public buildings free 
of expense to Government and of delivering 
over charge of the settlement at the end of the 
present year with an available revenue nearly 
equal to its expenses, and it is extremely morti- 
fying that the irregularities admitted by the 
local Resident oblige me to forego this ar- 
rangement." The irregularities alluded to in 
this despatch were committed by a local official 
employed in connection with the land transfers. 
He was a man of indifferent character who 
ought never to have been appointed to the 
post, and Farquhar's laxity in this and other 
respects drew upon him the severe censure of 
Raffles. The relations between the two became 
exceedingly strained in consequence. Even- 
tually Farquhar resigned, and his resignation 
was accepted, Mr, Crawfurd, as has been stated, 
being appointed as his successor. If the course 
of official life at Singapore in these days did 
not run smoothly, nothing could have been 
more harmonious than Raffles's relations with 
the mercantile community. In striking contrast 
with the contemptuous indifference displayed 
by the Indian bureaucrats who ruled in the 
Straits towards the civil community, Raffles 
deferred to it in every way compatible with 
the Government interests. The principles 
which guided him in this particular are lucidly 
set forth in a despatch he wrote to the Supreme 
Government, dated March 29, 1823. "I am 
satisfied," Raffles wrote, " that nothing has 
tended more to the discomfort and constant 
jarrings which have hitherto occurred in our 
remote settlements than the policy which has 
dictated the exclusion of the European mer- 
chants from all share, much less credit, in the 
domestic regulation of the settlement of which 
they are frequently its most important mem- 
bers." These liberal sentiments supply the key 
to Raffles's remarkable success as an adminis- 
trator, and they help to an understanding of the 
affectionate warmth with which the European 
community took -leave of him in the farewell 
address they presented on his departure from 
the settlement. 

" To your unwearied zeal, your vigilance, 
and your comprehensive views," the memorial- 
ists said, "we owe at once the foundation and 
the maintenance of a settlement unparalleled 
for the liberality of the principles on which it 
has been established ; principles the operation 
of which has converted, in a period short 
beyond all example, a haunt of pirates into 
the abode of enterprise, security, and opulence. 
While we acknowledge our peculiar obligations 
to you, we reflect at the same time with pride 
and satisfaction upon the active and beneficent 
means by which you have promoted and patron- 
ised the diffusion of intellectual and m.oral im- 
provement, and we anticipate with confidence 
their happy influence in advancing the cause of 
humanity and civilisation." 

In the course of his reply in acknowledgment 
of the address Raffles wrote : " It has happily 
been consistent with the poHcyof Great Britain 
and accordant with the principles of the East 
India Company that Singapore should be estab- 
lished as a free port, that no sinister, no sordid 
view, no considerations either of political im- 
portance or pecuniary advantage, should inter- 
fere with the broad and liberal principles on 

which the British interests have been estab- 
lished. Monopoly and exclusive privileges, 
against which public opinion has long raised 
its voice, are here unknown, and while the free 
port of Singapore is allowed to continue and 
prosper, as it hitherto has done, the policy 
and liberality of the East India Companv, by 
whom the settlement was founded and under 
whose protection and control it is still adminis- 
tered, can never be disputed. That Singapore 

settlement, I beg that you will accept my most 
sincere thanks. I know the feeling which 
dictated it, I acknowledge the delicacy with 
which it has been conveyed, and I prize most 
highly the gratifying terms to me personally in 
which it has been expressed." 

An aff'ecting description of Raffles's departure 
from Singapore has been left in the Malay work 
already referred to by his ser\ant and friend, 
Abdullah. After mentioning various gifts that 

( Photographed specially for this work by permission of the Dean of Westminster.) 

will long and always remain a free port, and 
that no taxes on trade or industry will be estab- 
lished to check its future rise and prosperity, 
I can have no doubt. I am justified in saying 
this much, on the authority of the Supreme 
Government of India, and on the authority of 
those who are most likely to have weight in 
the councils of our nation at home. For the 
public and peculiar mark of respect which you, 
gentlemen, ha\'e been desirous of showing me 
on the occasion of my departure from the 

were made to him by the administrator and 
letters recommending him to officials as one to 
be trusted, Abdullah writes : "I could not speak, 
but I took the papers, while the tears streamed 
down my face without my being conscious of 
it. That day to part with Sir Stamford Raflles 
was to me as the death of my parents. My 
regret was not because of the benefits I had 
received or because of his greatness or attrac- 
tions ; but because of his character and attain- 
ments, because every word he said was sincere 

B "* 




(The supposed position of tiie grave is tlie spot under tlie centre window in tlie middle foreground.) 

and reliable, because he never exalted himself 
or depreciated others. All these things have 
remained in my heart till now, and though I 
have seen many distinguished men, many who 
were clever, who were rich, who were hand- 
some — for character, for the power of winning 
affection, and for talent and understanding, I 
have never seen the equal of Sir Stamford 
Raffles ; though I die and live again, I shall 
never find his peer. . . . When I had received 
the two letters. Sir Stamford and his lady went 
down to the sea, accompanied by an immense 
crowd of people of every nationality. I also 
went with them, and when they reached the 
ship they went on board, A moment later 
preparations were made to heave up the 
anchor, and Sir Stamford sent for me. I went 
into his cabin, and saw that he was wiping the 
tears from his eyes. He said, ' Go home ; you 
must not grieve, for, as I live, we shall meet 
again.' Then Lady Raffles came in and gave 
me twenty-five dollars, saying, ' This is for 
your children in Malacca.' When I heard that 
m\" heart was more than ever fired by the 
thought of their kindness. I thanked her and 
shook them both by the htind ; but I could not 
restrain my tears, so I hurriedly got into my 
boat and- pulled away. When we had gone 
some distance I looked back and saw Sir 
Stamford gazing from the port. I saluted 
him and he waved his hand. After some 
moments the sails filled and the ship moved 
slowly away." 

This was Raffles's last view of Singapore. 
He proceeded to his charge at Bencoolen to 
resume the old life of masterly inactivity. But 
he fretted under the chains which bound him 
to the Far East, and longed to be once more 
in the Old Country to spend what he felt would 
be the short remaining period of his life. 

Broken in health, weary in spirit, but with 
eager anticipations of a pleasant reunion with 
old friends, he with Lady Raffles embarked 




(Tile gigantic parasitic plant of Java and Sumatra dis- 
covered by Raffles.) 

on February 2, 1824, on a small vessel called the 
Fame for England. Before the ship had barely 
got out of sight of the port a fire broke out in 

the spirit store below Raffles's cabin, and within 
a short period the entire vessel was a mass of 
flames. With difficulty the passengers and crew 
escaped in boats, but all Raffles's manuscripts 
and his natural history collections, the product 
of many years' assiduous labour, perished. The 
loss was from many points of view irreparable, 
and, coming as it did after a succession of 
misfortunes, told on Raffles's already enfeebled 
constitution. But outwardly he accepted the 
calamity with philosophic calm, and prepared 
at once to make fresh arrangements for the 
return voyage. Another ship was fortunately 
available, and in this he and his wife made the 
voyage to England. There he met with every 
kindness from influential friends, and he settled 
down to a country life at Highwood Hill, 
Middlesex, having as his neighbour William 
Wilberforce, between whom and him there 
was a close tie of interest in their mutual 
horror of the slave trade. Here he died, after 
an attack of apoplexy, on July 5, 1826, and 
was buried in Hendon churchyard. His last 
days were clouded with troubles arising out 
of claims and charges made against him by 
the narrow-minded oligarchy of Leadenhall 
Street, who dealt with Raffles as they might 
have done with a refractory servant entitled 
to no consideration at their hands. It has 
remained for a later generation to do justice 
to the splendid qualities of the man and the 
enormous services he rendered to the Empire 
by his vigorous and far-seeing statesmanship. 

Singapore's progress in the years immedi- 
ately following Raffles's departure was steadily 
maintained by a wise adherence to the princi- 
ples of administration which he had laid down. 
Mr. Crawfurd, his successor in the adminis- 
tration, was a man of broad and liberal views, 
who had served under Raffles in Java, and was 
imbued with his enlightened sentiments as to 
the conduct of the administration of a colony 
which depended for its success upon the 
unrestrained operations of commerce. In 
handing over charge to him Raffles had 
provided him with written instructions empha- 
sising the importance of early attention " to the 
beauty, regularity, and cleanliness of the settle- 
ment," and desiring him in particular to see 
that the width of the different roads and streets 
was fixed by authority, and " as much attention 
paid to the general style of building as circum- 
stances admit." These directions Crawfurd kept 
well in mind throughout his administration, 
with the result that the town gradually assumed 

!n mewory'of 

Sir Thomas Sta!v,forij RAFhi^s. 

F.R.S. U^.D.ETC, 

Statesman, Administrator and NatufvalisT: 

Founder of the Colony and C!ty of Singapore. January z2\ 


Born July sj? i78i. Died at Highwood, Middlesex, July 5^4 


and buried near this Tablet. 

Erected in isa? Br Members of the family. 




an architectural dignity at tliat time quite un- 
Icnown in the European settlements in the 
East. The value of land in 1824, though small 
in comparison with the price now realised for 
property in the business quarter of Singapore, 
was very satisfactory, having regard to the 
brief period of the occupation and the un- 
certainty of the political situation. B'or plots 
with a So-feet frontage on the river and 150 
feet deep, 3,000 dollars were paid, in addition 
to an annual quit-rent of 38 dollars. Resi- 
dential plots with an area of 1,200 square yards 
realised 400 dollars, in addition to an annual 
quit-rent of 28 dollars." 

At this time there were twelve European 
fir-ms of standing established in the settlement 
in addition to - many reputable Chinese and 
Malay traders. Such was the growth of the 
commerce of the place that Crawfurd was 
impelled on August 23, 1824, to address a long 
despatch to the Supreme Government pleading 
for the establishment of a judicial department 
to deal with the many and complicated legal 
questions that were constantly arising. The 
charter of Prince of Wales Island, he thought, 
might be taken as a safe precedent, but he 
respectfully suggested that the judicial authority 
should be separate and distinct from the execu- 
tive, "as the surest means of rendering it 
independent and respectable." It took the 
Calcutta authorities a considerable time to 
digest this question, but in the long run 
Crawfurd's recommendations were adopted. 
On March 6, 1827, an official notification was 
issued to the effect that a Court of Judicature 
would be opened in Singapore, and that as a 
consequence the Resident's Court would be 
closed. The establishment of the judicial 
system followed upon the definitive occupation 
of the island, under the terms of the diplomatic 
understanding arrived at in London on March 
17, 1824, between the British and the Dutch 
Governments. Under the agreement the Dutch 
formally recognised the British right to the 
settlement, and Crawfurd was instructed to 
give the fullest effect to it by completing a final 
treaty with the Sultan and the Temenggong. 
With some difficulty the compact was made on 
August 2, 1824. By its provisions the island of 
Singapore was ceded absolutely to the British 
Government, together with the sovereignty of 
the adjacent seas, straits, and islets to the limit 
of ten geographical miles from the Singapore 
coasts, and, acting on instructions, Crawfurd, 
on August 3, . 1824, embarked in the ship 
Malabar on a voyage round the island, with 
the object of notifying to all and sundry that 
the British really had come to stay. 

Fullerton, a Madras civilian, was sent out 
as Governor, with Pinang as the seat of 
government. Meantime, Singapore had felt 
itself important enough to support a newspaper. 
This organ, the Singapore Chronicle and Com- 
mercial Advertiser, was a tiny sheet of four 
quarto pages, badly printed on rough paper, 
but answering, it may be supposed, all the needs 
of the infant settlement. Mr. C. B. Buckley, in 
his erudite " Anecdotal History of Old Times 
in Singapore," in alluding to this journal, states 
that in 1884 it was not possible to find any 

are missing, as they must have contained much 
that was of interest. Mr. Crawfurd seems to 
have been a frequent contributor to the 
columns, and he was a writer, of no mean 
hterary skill, as his official despatches and his 
later contributions to the Edinburgh Review 
clearly attest. Still, the files, even in their 
incomplete condition, are highly instructive 
and illuminating as guides to the life of the 
settlement in the dawn of its existence. The 
first fact that is impressed upon the reader is 
the censorship which was then maintained 



THkmsD&T, Janswrlliiti, 1^^ 

ra^j ... 

'■lA Jiigl . 

•No. 12. 

' X B Y hifornit'd tbnt all fiirxofiK 
%oktin^ Lands, on the. Inland of 
Sin^;ip')rt\ under OninW itwiied hy 
Cir T. S. Rapflf,.;, Lacut. ^oyer- 
THoivfl'r under authority of Ijoca^- : 
«m Tickett< received front th« liitie 
|R<Aident Mr. Cmwfurd, uudwlin 
%uve coiuplied with the cnnditiulM" 
"tof the wauifi, are roiiuiped to n^icn 
'^h(*^-' Docnumntfl - into th« 0(H<m 
■ef the t40d SnrVBjror, when tMr! 
■will to flirtished <vitU frwUiiranlf', 
••nthofized nnd coufirinfiii Jjy tht.^' 

• ij^gltt Uunonihlc thu Oovampt; 0<)- 
-Kifcral hi Council. 

AU I'freons who have W«A^ 
in fulfiilniK the temw of thi:ir OH-p- 
' giual Contract toelW «nd hui|<^ 

• on the L«nd so .IwBtllwwl, at* to- 
quired to cnraplete tb<uc tngiii^ 

■ tntiita oiiL or t>efore'*ho: 1st of Mayj 
new, in default pf which, (.hs 

• land* offiurh de»cril»tiou will W 
' resiifloed by. and re»ect to, the 
' HqiiouWe CorapoaJ; aa . Proprio- 
'tirBof the Snd. " 
*;• It it* .furiher to be lUi^erytood 
^Ihat -ito di«por»idi3n of l«audi» V(\\\, 

te futai«; bo made by th« Bsci- 
dSttt tisudcillw, withoat thttfmiic 
thm Stthec^HbiiOrabh! the (Jover- 
iHir ia Otvnncitof l"«uice,of Wa|e« 
Inland) iii^gflfiore- and ^A\a/si^. 

By Ordur of the Hoo«rab»-tht 

Ooveroor in Council of l^i:illt*--of 

Waley lahtod Singiipore aud ^4^- 

locca. . < 


Smgapure. 'J.',4 Ju.-.uurj/ liiJU. 

iin\iouH to comihciobiutc! 
vict!9 Tt'h>ch.hc.hM n 
to infocm u^^>irot)eai 
liih«1>i}»hK^Sil&(ij{i6t«>'fli«i hw; 
iitg reaMVj.'<i'..pftrorw<ioii W epwit'h 
monutrfeul' in Oim-rament- HiM tb 
hmMeinur^ » SubsCriptftA liM<hlni 
Inwn ^ipined »t tlif 'Hii>l»'«>f«(*: 
Updernipfed «Hert all ctAHiMltt-i 

Fully peceiVfd. when it i* kntJwn, 
what ibp aniouht lof «4»j«iH^tlt«(i!l 
i» likrly lo hjC tt' (uVefijik'of ikm 

cona^^«i^W«nll<« ml 

Fos'IAndON OK ANTWliKK'^'j 
Tuland pawnxPrt int^ BrtOM" 

rriHK fiMi mfp iinn- 

1 V.l l.ESy A. I.Capl. Wii. 
Va-ikihw*. (iotomander, hn» near-, 
Iv I he »li"l<jof her rarRO rnifnuod 
tiWt wilt hM_^ thi" ahouttho t-'^lll 
proximo. 'i'lit» IlerouIcM i^ a poop 
^bi|», .Carrie^ q.f*mxeon and Iuih ex- 
^i'liir.fmBlii or pa»'«ietf apply hi ' 
1 ;Moaa»x» lliirti) 'ft Co. 

;.,.« j.\i lilili. 

TalJKSDAr J*N. I8iu ^^V- 

Py tlie tVuMW >'oM»'ft JCHptoili 

CriLy,'w.|in-va ret'eitMl idviciHi iroili 

t ,111' I. ii (lowit to till" ^;rt«jtf dtujOMry 

wliicu lsu>hle lis 10 si\o tile loUpvv-. 

.•..._<»- -, ... , ^ ...,1/ ..iiViij 


ing Tiew of tto deliTery of opiura 
itM^f^Hbv.nVWtn ol Uecemlwr »n4- 
4hA 4!l»olf i»n hwi(l on the 1»[ of tha 

p«««;no,a^,, ^,;,^;„^ 

i .. i i.;;*'-! ■;■.■'■■ ' ff ■ . »"" ; 

tu' th<)''t»«» Cornmiireinl lUjjialw 
'r«Mli8n«il that ftlr. Cro2iar all* 

Xfi'^^aik, of H-if D..(ci,; a^ . 

^ w3^i)»ii, been nWltltrtal lyeUfe 
crew itid *» wwl eiirrJ.* Jfttog*. 

i</mo«ej thiit'tW C«^t»ht:h»*i 
irTOno cat(m Hi oilwi', "li;** 
~ iM fonder; wu imowiMDlr 
,„^-,- by Wflil IhsHUoihoi' Mp 
iMui nwo took pMl -iWih «he.i«l^; 
' ; ^litl, tUii .fairitnt-se rMiialaiiMr m 
kfled M*. ^nfwetalwi and 
,^ i i^a «|i«l!l,*» bh« Mn ataled, 
lBloS»olo4. •I'lln Saltiin *f*h» l>l iM 
WiJ he«n.'r«!<iuci!t<Nl by die Commwt 

orW5witt».»o K''* ,*« fS' '"''• *"*" 
to MiWd6|>«^imoftli'Bni!.»<-r«-.«., 

on tlii' lat of January, hud ihu-liiiod 
eomplyiait whIitSf fDipiwitu'O 'i'ue 
CuvVVaor of M.iiiillu tiMprea-wd nn 
hileiitiot) yf ooDttiiiiitift t.i iii-a f"-ry 
iiieuuil iu bis power, slwirtol' lorve, (pr 
llie recovoW of Ijie'- veMt'l. 

Onitlie «iiliji'nl ofauionumo"' 1" 
Sir Stuiuliiol .BalllM "o r.-I.T ■•"■ 
readeri* 10 a irotico vfhu-U .ii". ■'< 
oliitrr.atill • leliiT uji')"'' ""■ ■"';-■'•'" 
luro af'A. in u >ul..-v.tucol L..lui.,ut. 

Wiihlii 111. -■ !•'• .in«tw.,JlM;l,s 

Live ..iniMl IfOi t."Ulii|), i'-iii!; 

li.e nral Ol ihe -OfllOil. ,A> • "i' ■"'' 

■ ■ ,t- ; "" 



Early Days— The First Newspaper. 

During the period of Crawfurd's adminis- 
tration Singapore was under the control 
of the Supreme Government ; but in 1826 
the settlement was incorporated with Pinang 
and Malacca in one Government, and Mr. 

I Resident-General's Report, Journal of the Indian 
Archipelago, ix. 468. 

copy of the paper before 1831, and " there is not 
probably one in existence." Mr. Buckley, 
happily for the historian of Singapore, is 
mistaken. At the India Office there is preserved 
a practically complete file of the paper, com- 
mencing with the seventy-third number, 
published on January. 4, 1827. From inscrip- 
tions on the papers it appears that copies were 
regularly forwarded to Leadenhall Street for 
the information of the Court of Directors, and 
were bound up and kept for reference among 
the archives of the Secret Committee. It is 
unfortunate that the three earliest years' files 

over the press in these settlements as in other 
territories under the administration of the East 
India Company. In the second number of the 
surviving copies of the journal we are con- 
fronted with this letter : 

" Sir,— By desire of the Hon. Governor in 
Council I beg to forward for your guidance the 
enclosed rules applicable to the editors of 
newspapers in India and to intimate to you 
that the permission of Government for the 
publication of the Singapore Chronicle and 
Contiucrcial Advertiser is granted to you with 



the clear understanding that you strictly adhere 
to these regulations. 

"As you will now refrain from publishing 
anything in your paper which will involve an 
infringement of these rules it will no longer be 
necessary for you to submit for approval the 
proof sheet of each number of the Chronicle 
previous to its publication. 
" I am, Sir, 

" Your obedient servant, 
"JoHx Prince, 
"Resident Councillor. 
"Singapore, Feb. 20, 1827." 

The " Hon. Governor in Council " of this 
communication was, of course, Mr. Fullerton. 
This gentleman came from India filled with 
the characteristic hatred of the Anglo-Indian 
official of a free press. The smallest criticism 
of official action he resented as an insult ; a 
slighting reference to himself personally he 
regarded as lese majcstc. Apparently he had 
expected that his edict would be received with 
submissive respect by those whom it concerned. 
But he had reckoned without the spirit of 
independence which characterised the budding 
journalism of the Straits. The editor of the 
Chronicle, in publishing the Resident Coun- 
cillor's letter, accompanied it with this 
comment : 

" We cannot err in saying that we receive 
these regulations with all the deference which 
an intimation of the wishes of the Government 
ought to command. They can form, however, 
but a feeble barrier against ' offensive remarks ' 
whilst there is a press in England over which 
the sic volo, sic jabeo of Indian authority can 
have no control. The rulers of India might as 
well attempt, like a celebrated despot of old, to 
enchain the waves as to place restrictions upon 
the press of England, and whilst that is the 
case their measures will be unsparingly cen- 
sured whenever they shall deserve it, and the 
remarks issuing from that source, no matter 
how contraband, will find their way round the 
Cape, and will be here read by all those, to a 
man, who would have read them had they 
been printed originally on the spot. When 
Ihis is so very plain, it is really no easy matter 
for the governed to discover the object of such 
regulations, unless, indeed, it be to prevent the 
evil effect which the remarks of wicked editors 
might be expected to produce upon the ' reading 
public ' among that lettered, and to the in- 
fluence of the press most susceptible people, 
the Malays." 

This was bad enough in the eyes of the 
autocrat of Pinang, but there was worse to 
follow. On February 15, 1827, the editor, in 
referring to the suspension of a Calcutta 
editor for criticisms of official action in the 
Burmese War, remarked sarcastically that 
" however culpable the editor may have been 
in other respects, he has not perpetrated in his 
remarks the sin of novelty." Mr. Fullerton 
was furious at the audacity of the Singapore 
scribe, and caused to be transmitted to him 
what the Chronicle in its issue of March 29th 
described as "a very severe secretarial re- 
primand." He was still not intimidated, 
as is shown by the pointed announcement in 
the same number of the issue in Bengal of " a 
very ably conducted paper " under the name of 

the Calcutta Gazette, with the motto, " Freedom 
which came at length, though slow to come." 
However, the official toils were closing around 
him. Peremptory orders were issued from 
Pinang for the muzzling of the daring jour- 
nalist. The editor seems to have got wind of 
the pleasant intentions of the Government, and 
indulged in this final shriek of liberty • 

" Ghost of the Censorship. 

"We thought that the censorship had been 
consigned to the ' tomb of the Capulets,' that 
common charnel-house of all that is worthless. 
Either we were mistaken, however, in sup- 
posing it thus disposed of, or its ghost, a spirit 
of unquiet conscience, continues to haunt these 
settlements. It is said to have been wandering 
to and fro, and to have arrived lately from 
Malacca in a vessel from which we would it 
had been exorcised and cast into the sea. 

" The paper is going to the press, and we 
have but brief space in which to say that we 
have this moment heard that it is currently and 
on strong authority reported that Government 
has re-established the censorship in this settle- 
ment. That this is not yet the case we know, 
having received no official intimation to that 
effect, and until we receive this 'damning 
proof we will not believe that Government 
can have lapsed into a measure which will 
reflect on them such unspeakable discredit. 
We have heard much alleged against the 
present Government of Pinang, some part of 
which, since kings themselves are no longer 
deemed impeccable, may be just but we 

never heard our rulers deemed so weak, so 
wavering, so infirm of purpose, as to promul- 
gate a set of admirable regulations to-day, and 
presto ! to revoke them to-morrow, restoring a 
censorship which of their own free motion and 
magnanimous accord they had just withdrawn, 
for what reason no sane person will be able to 
divine, unless it should chance to be for the 
very simple one of putting it on again. Should 
the Government have been guilty of an im- 
becility such as report assigns them, the world 
(if it ever hears of it) will very naturally 
conclude that "the removal of the censorship 
was a mere bait for applause in the expectation 
that Government would never be called upon 
for the exercise of the virtues of magnanimity 
and forbearance, and that editors could on all 
occasions shape their sentiments and the ex- 
pression of them by the line and rule of 
secretarial propriety." 

The "intelligent anticipation" displayed by 
the editor in this clever and amusing comment 
was speedily justified by facts. On the morning 
following the publication of the paper in which 
it appears, the journalist received a letter from 
the Government at Pinang informing him that 
in future he must submit a proof of his paper 
previous to publication to the Resident Coun- 
cillor. The official version of the episode is to 
be found in a letter from Mr. Fullerton to the 
Court of Directors, dated August 29, 1827. In 
this the Governor wrote : " In consequence of 
some objectionable articles in the Singapore 
Chronicle, we considered it necessary to estab- 
lish rules similar to those estabhshed by the 
Supreme Government in 1818. This order was 
given under the supposition that the press was 
perfectly free, but it appearing that the censor- 

ship had been previously imposed and that the 
very first publication subsequent to its removal 
having contained matter of a most offensive 
nature, we were under the necessity of re- 
imposing the censorship and censuring the 
editor. The proof sheet of each paper was 
also directed to be submitted in future to the 
Resident Councillor, which was assented to by 
Mr. Loch." 

From this point the Singapore Chronicle 
presents the spectacle of decorous dulness 
which might be looked for in the circum- 
stances. But the Old Adam peeps out occa- 
sionally, as in a racy comment on the intimation 
of a Batavian editor that he intended to answer 
all attacks on Dutch policy in his journal, or 
in the rather wicked interpolation of rows of 
asterisks after an article from which the 
stinging tail has obviously been excised. 
Later, Mr. Loch again got into collision with 
Pinang, and there must have been rejoicing in 
official altitudes when, on March 26, 1829, he 
intimated that he was retiring from the editor- 
ship. The new editor was a man of a somewhat 
different stamp, judging from his introductory 
article. In this he intimated that he made no 
pretensions whatever to literai-y or scientific 
attainments. "The pursuits to which from a 
very early age we have been obliged to devote 
ourselves," he wrote, "have precluded- the 
possibility of our giving much attention to the 
cultivation of letters, so that our readers must 
not expect such valuable dissertations on the 
subjects we have alluded to as appeared in 
the first and second volumes of this journal." 
While the new editor was thus modest about 
his qualifications, he was not less strong in his 
opposition to the censorship than his pre- 
decessor. Shortly after he was inducted into 
the editorial chair he thus inveighed against 
the apathy of the general public on the subject : 
"An individual here and there touched with 
plebeianism may entertain certain unmannerly 
opinions as old-fashioned as the Glorious Revo- 
lution, but Monsieur notrc frcre may depend 
upon it that the mass of the public are not 
affected by this leaven, nor can be spurred into 
complaint by anything short of a stamp regula- 
tion or some other process of abstra<;tion, the 
effects of which become more speedily tan- 
gible to their senses than the evils arising 
from restriction upon the freedom of publi- 

Harassed by official autocrats and hampered 
by mechanical difficulties, the Singapore jour- 
nalism of early days left a good deal to be 
desired. Nevertheless, in these "brief and 
abstract chronicles" of the infant settlement 
we get a vivid picture of Singapore life as it 
was at that period. Sir Stamford Raffles's 
shadow still rested over the community. Xow 
we read an account of his death with what 
seems a very inadequate biography culled 
from " a morning paper " at home, and almost 
simultaneously appears an account of a move- 
ment for raising some monument to his honour. 
Later, there are festive gatherings, at which 
" the memory of Sir Stamford Raffles " is dnink 
in solemn silence. Meanwhile, a cutting from 
a London paper gives us a glimpse of Colonel 
Farquhar as the principal guest at an influen- 
tially attended banquet in the city. Local 
news consists mostly of records of the arrival 



of ships. Occasionally we get a signilicant 
reminder of what " the good old times " in the 
Straits were like, as, for example, in the 
announcement of the arrival of a junk with a 
thousand Chinese on board on the verge of 
starvation because of the giving out of supplies, 
or in the information brought by incoming 
boats of bloody work by pirates a few miles 
beyond the limits of the port. Or again, in a 
report (published on September ii, 1828) of the 
arrival of the Abercrombie Robiiisoit, an East 
Indiaman from Bombay, after a voyage during 
which twenty-seven of the crew were carried 
off by cholera. On April 17, 1827, there is 
great excitement over the arrival in port of the 
first steamship ■ ever seen there — the Dutch 
Government vessel, Vandcr Capdlan. The 
Malays promptly christen her the Kapal Asap, 
or smoke vessel, and at a loss to discover by 
what means she is propelled, fall back on the 
comfortable theory that her motion is caused 
by the immediate agency of the evil one. 
Socially, life appears to run in agreeable lines. 
Now the handful of Europeans who compose 
the local society are foregathering at the 
annual assembly of the Raffles Club, at which 
there is much festivity, though the customary 
dance is not given, out of respect for the 
memory of the great administrator who had 
just passed away. At another time there is 
a brilliant entertainment at Government House 
in honour of the King's birthday, with an 
illumination of the hill which evokes the 
enthusiastic admiration of the reporter. Some 
one is even heroic enough to raise a proposal 
for the construction of a theatre, while there is 
a lively polemic on the evergreen subject of 
mixed bathing. 

From the point of view of solid information 
these early Singapore papers are of exceptional 
interest and value. In them we are able to 
trace political currents which eddied about the 
settlement at this juncture, threatening at times 
to overwhelm it. One characteristic effusion 
of the period is an editorial comment on an 
announcement conveyed by a Pinang cor- 
respondent that the Government there was 
framing some custom-house regulations for 
Singapore, and was about to convene a meeting 
of Pinang jiierchants for the purpose of 
approving them. " Offensive remarks levelled 
at Councillors are prohibited," wrote the scribe 
in sarcastic allusion to the press regulations, 
" otherwise, though not disciples of Roche- 
foucauld, we might have ventured to doubt 
whether the merchants of Penang are precisely 
the most impartial advisers that Government 
could have selected as guides in a course of 
custom-house legislation for the port of Singa- 

" It is to be hoped the merchants of Penang 
may be cautious in what they approve. Trade 
may be as effectually injured by regulations as 
by customs-house exactions, and every new 
regulation added to the existing heap may be 
looked upon as an evil. Here it is the general 

I " On the 17th April the Dutch steam vessel Vaiider 
Capellaii arrived here from Batavia, having made the 
passage from the latter place in seven liours. She is 
the first vessel that has ever been propelled by steam 
in these Straits, and the second steam vessel em- 
ployed to the eastward of the Cape, the Diana, of 
Calcutta, which proved of much service in the 
Burmese War, being the first."— Singapore Chronicle, 
April 26, 1827. 

opinion that the extent of the trade of these 
ports is already known with sufficient accuracy 
for every wise and beneficent purpose ; that 
perfect exactness cannot be attained, and if it 
could, would be useless ; but that if the Court 
of Directors shall, notwithstanding, with the 
minuteness of retail grocers, persist in the 
pursuit of it and adopt a, system of petty and 
vexatious regulations (the case is a supposed 
one), it will be attended with inconvenience to 
the merchants and detriment to the trade and 
prosperity of these settlements." ' 

These spirited words arc suggestive of the 
prevalent local feeling at the time as to the 
interference of Pinang. Obviously there was 
deep resentment at the attitude implied in the 
reported statement that the concerns of Singa- 
pore were matters which Pinang must settle. 
Singapore at this time was decidedly "feeling 
its feet," and was conscious and confident of its 
destiny. A Calcutta paper having ventured 
upon the surmise that " Singapore is a bubble 
near exploding," the editor promptly took up 
the challenge in this fashion : 

'• Men's prediclions are often an index to 
their wishes. Fortunately, however, the pros- 
perity of Singapore is fixed on too firm a 
foundation to be shaken by an artillery of 
surmises. Those who lift up their voices and 
prophesy against this place may, therefore, 
depend upon it they labour in a vain vocation 
unless they can at the same time render a 
reason for the faith that is in them by showing 
that the causes which have produced the past 
prosperity of the settlement either have ceased 
to operate or soon will do so. Till this is done 
their predictions are gratuitous and childish." 

Side by side with this note appeared a de- 
scription of the Singapore of that day written 
by a Calcutta visitor. It was intended, it 
seemed, as a refutation of the bursting bubble 
theory, and it certainly is fairly conclusive 
proof of its absurdity. " Here," wrote the 
visitor, "there is more of an English port 
appearance than in almost any place I have 
visited in India. The native character and 
peculiarities seem to have merged more into 
the English aspect than I imagined possible, 
and I certainly think Singapore proves more 
satisfactorily than any place in our possession 
that it is possible to assimilate the Asiatic and 
the European very closely in the pursuits of 
commerce. The new appearance of the place 
is also very pleasing to the eye, and a great 
relief from the broken down, rotten, and decayed 
buildings of other ports in the peninsula. The 
regularity and width of the streets give Singa- 
pore a cheerful and healthy look, and the plying 
of boats and other craft in its river enlivens the 
scene not a little. At present here are no fewer 
than three ships of large burden loading for 
England. The vessels from all parts of the 
archipelago are also in great numbers and 
great variety. At Penang and Malacca the 
godowns of a merchant scarcely tell you what 
he deals in, or rather proclaim that he does 
nothing from the little bustle that prevails in 
them ; here you stumble at every step over the 
produce of China and the Straits in active 
preparation for being conveyed to all parts of 
the world." 

These shrewd observations speak for them- 

I Ibid., March 15, 1827. 

selves, but if additional evidence is needed it is 
supplied by the population returns of the period 
which figure in the columns of the paper. 
Exclusive of the military, the inhabitants of 
Singapore in 1826 numbered, according to 
official computation, 10,307 males and 3,443 
females. The details of the enumeration may 
be given, as they are of considerable interest : 









Native Christians ... 


















Natives of Bengal ... 



Natives of the Coast 

of Coromandel 










10,307 3,443 

The points of interest in this table are the 
smallness of the European population and the 
numerical strength of the Chinese community. 
The latter, it will be seen, numbered more than 
half the entire population and considerably 
exceeded the Malays. The circumstance shows 
that from the very outset of Singapore's career 
the Chinese played a leading part in its deve- 
lopment. Keen traders as a race, they recog- 
nised at once the splendid possibilities of the 
port for trade, and they no doubt appreciated 
to the full the value of the equal laws and 
opportunities which they enjoyed under the 
liberal constitution with which Raffles had 
endowed the settlement. 

Mr. Fullerton, besides placing shackles on 
the press, distinguished himself by a raid on 
"interlopers," as all who had not the requisite 
licence of the East India Company to reside 
in their settlements were regarded. Most 
writers on Singapore history have represented 
his action in this particular as an independent 
display of autocratic zeal. But the records 
clearly show that he was acting under explicit 
instructions from the Court of Directors to call 
upon all European residents in the settlement 
to show their credentials. The circular which 
Fullerton issued brought to light that there were 
26 unlicensed persons in the settlement, besides 
those who had no other licence than that of the 
local authority. The matter was referred home 
for consideration, with results which appear in 
the following despatch of September 30, 1829 ; 

" The list which you have furnished of 
Europeans resident at this last settlement 
(Singapore) includes a considerable number 
of persons who have received no licence from 
us. We approve of your having made known 
to each of these individuals his liability to 
removal at our pleasure. Under the peculiar 
circumstances of this settlement it has not been 
our practice to discourage the resort of Euro- 
peans thither for the purpose of following any 
creditable occupation, and we perceive that all 
those who have recently arrived there have 
obtained respectable employment. We there- 
fore shall make no objection to their con- 
tinuance at the settlement while they fulfil 



what you are to consider as the impHed con- 
dition of our sufferance in all such cases, that 
of conducting themselves with propriety." ■ 

This incident made Mr. Fullerton very un- 
popular with the European inhabitants, and 
about the same time he incurred the disfavour 
of the native population by the introduction of 
drastic land regulations based on the Madras 
model. The necessity for some action seems 
to have been urgent, judging from the tenor 
of an entry in the Singapore records under date 
August 29, 1827. It is here stated that during 
the administration of Mr. Crawfurd great laxity 

payment at the rate of two rupees per acre of 
the land surveyed. Up to September 18, 1829, 
the ground covered included 4,909 acres of 
Singapore, 1,038 of St. George's in Blakang 
Mati Island, and 215 of Gage Island. It was 
then recommended that the survey should 
embrace the Bugis town, Rochar river, and 
Sandy Point, " by which the brick kilns and all 
the unoccupied land in that direction will be 
brought into the survey, as well as all the forts 
connected with the plan of defence." The pro- 
posals were adopted, and the survey finally 
completed by Mr. Coleman. 

demurred to this, and declined to make any 
advance without direct authority. Thereupon 
the Recorder refused to proceed to Malacca 
and Singapore. Finding him obdurate, the 
Governor himself went to discharge the 
judicial duties in those ports. Before leaving 
he made a call for certain documents from the 
Court of Judicature, and received from Sir J. T. 
Claridge a flat refusal to supply them. Not to 
be frustrated, Mr. Fullerton sumrnoned a full 
court, and he and the Resident Councillor, as 
the majority, carried a resolution directing the 
documents to be supplied, and as a consequence 

l'(>-'-< ■'■n f;.-'')7RO.'V.S 

'-.--'A.' . j«i*->i 


was manifested in respect of the grant of loca- 
tion tickets. Those outstanding issued by Mr. 
Crawfurd alone (all for land in the vicinity of 
the town) amounted to within 14,000 acres of 
the whole computed area of the island, " although 
but a very inconsiderable space is cleared, and 
the greater part of the island is still an imper- 
vious forest." An almost necessary outcome of 
the new land system was the commencement 
of a topographical survey of the island. The 
work was entrusted to Mr. George D. Coleman^ 
the gentleman responsible for the act of van- 
dalism narrated in the previous chapter. Mr. 
Coleman erred on this occasion, but his name 
will always be linked with some of the most 
useful work associated with the building of 
Singapore. The survey was undertaken by 
Mr. Coleman independently on the basis of 
1 " Straits Settlements Records," Xo. 195. 


Introduction of the Judicial System — The 
Dawn of Municipal Government. 

The arbitrariness shown by Mr. Fullerton 
in his administrative acts was extended to 
his relations with his official colleagues, and 
brought him into collision more than once with 
them. The most violent of these personal con- 
troversies, and in its effects the most important, 
was a quarrel with Sir J. T. Claridge, the 
Recorder, over a question relating to the 
latter's expenses on circuit. Sir J. T. Claridge 
contended that the demand made upon him 
under the new charter to- hold sessions at 
Singapore and Malacca entitled him to special 
expenses, and that these should be paid him 
before he went on circuit. Mr. Fullerton 

they were supplied. Following upon these in- 
cidents Sir J. T. Claridge paid a visit to Cal- 
cutta, with the object of consulting his judicial 
brethren there on the points at issue in his 
controversy with the Governor. Apparently 
the advice given to him was that he had made 
a mistake in declining to transact his judicial 
duties. At all events, on returning to Pinang 
he intimated his readiness to proceed to 
Malacca and Singapore. The journey was 
undertaken in due course, but on arriving at 
Singapore Sir J. T. Claridge cast a veritable 
bomb into Government circles by a declaration 
from the bench that the Gaming Farm, from 
which a substantial proportion of the revenue 
of the settlement was derived, was illegal. 
Reluctantly the authorities relinquished the 
system, which had proved so convenient a 
means of filling their exchequer, and which 



they were prepared to defend on the ground 
even of morality. In the meantime the struggle 
between the two functionaries had been trans- 
ferred to Leadenhall Street, and from thence 
came, in the latter part of 1829, an order for Sir 
J. T. Claridge's recall. The Recorder was at 
first disposed to complete the judicial work 
upon which he was engaged, but Mr. Fullerton 
would not hear of his remaining in office a 
minute longer, and he eventually embarked for 
England on September 7, 1829, much, no doubt, 
to the relief of his official associates at Pinang. 
On arrival home Sir J. T. Claridge appealed to 
the Privy Council against his recall, but with- 
out avail. The Council, while holding that no 
imputation rested upon his capacity or integrity 
in the discharge of his judicial functions, con- 
sidered that his conduct had been such as to 
justify his dismissal. The effect of the decision 
was to re-establish the court under the old 
charter, and Sir Benjamin Malkin was sent 
out as Recorder. He assumed his duties in the 
Straits in 1833. 

The introduction of a regular judicial system 
had one important consequence not contem- 
plated probably by the officialdom of the 
Straits when the charter was given. It 
opened the way to municipal government. 
Early in 1827 a body called the Committee 
of Assessors was appointed in Pinang to super- 
vise the cleansing, watching, and keeping in 
repair of the streets of the settlement, and 
the following editorial notice in the Singapore 
Chronicle of April 26th of the same year 
appears to indicate that an analogous body 
was set up in Singapore : 

"We adverted a short time ago to the im- 
provements carrying on and contemplated by 
the Committee of Assessors, and we hope that 
the kindness of our friends will enable us in a 
future number to give a detailed account of 
them all. We understand that the Govern- 
ment, with their accustomed liberality wherever 
the interests of the island are concerned, have 
not only warmly sanctioned, but have promised 
to bear half the expenses of the projected new 
roads ; and we hope that their aid will be 
equally extended to the other improvements 
which are projected." 

The editor went on to suggest the holding of 
a, lottery as a means of raising funds. This 
question of funds was a difficulty which appa- 
rently sterilised the nascent activities of the 
pioneer municipal body. At all events its 
existence was a brief one, as is evident from a 
presentment made by the grand jury at the 
quarter sessions in February, 1829, over which 
Sir J. T. Claridge presided. The grand jury 
requested the authorities "to take into con- 
sideration the expediency and advantage of 
appointing a committee of assessors, chosen 
from amongst the principal inhabitants of the 
settlement, for the purpose of carrying into 
effect without delay a fair and equitable assess- 
ment of the property of each inhabitant in 
houses, land, &c., for the maintenance of an 
efficient night police, and for repairing the 
roads, bridges, &c." The suggestion called 
forth the following observations from the 
Recorder ; 

" As to that part of your presentment which 
relates to roads and bridges and that which 
relates to the police, I must refer you to the 

printed copies of the charter (page 46) by 
which the court is authorised and empowered 
to hold a general and quarter sessions of the 
peace, and to give orders touching the making, 
repairs, and cleansing of the roads, streets, 
bridges, and ferries, and for the removal and 
abatement of public nuisances, and for such 
other purposes of police, and for the appoint- 
ment of peace officers and the trial and punish- 
ment of misdemeanours, and doing such other 
acts as are usually done by justices of the peace 
at their general and quarter sessions in England 
as nearly as circumstances will admit and shall 
require." The Recorder then stated the manner 
in which these matters were conducted in 
England, and concluded by observing that 
"as it would be nugatory to empower the 
court of quarter sessions to give orders touch- 
ing the several matters specified unless they 
have also the means of carrying such orders 
into effect, I think the court of quarter sessions 
may legally make a rate for the above purpose." 

In consequence of this the magistrates con- 
vened a meeting of the principal inhabitants to 
discuss the matter. At this gathering they 
proposed as a matter of courtesy to admit a 
certain number of merchants to act with them 
as assessors, but at the same time gave the 
meeting to understand that they alone pos- 
sessed the power to enforce the payment of 
the assessments. None of the merchants, 
however, would consent to act. They declined 
on the ground that as they possessed no legal 
authority to act they could exercise no efficient 
check. They intimated, furthermore, that they 
had complete confidence in the integrity of the 
present bench. Subsequently the magistrates 
issued a notification that a rate of 5 per cent, 
would be made on the rents of all houses in 
Singapore. There was at the outset some dis- 
position on the part of the officials to question 
the legality of this assessment, but in the end 
the magistrates' power to make a rate was 
acknowledged and Singapore entered smoothly 
upon its municipal life. 

Some years later the Committee of Assessors 
here and at Malacca and Pinang developed 
into a Municipal Board, constituted under an 
Act of the Legislative Council of India. The 
authority consisted of five Commis,sioners, two 
of whom were nominated by the Government 
and three elected by ratepayers who con- 
tributed 25 dollars annually of assessed taxes. 

Though to a certain extent these were days 
of progress in Singapore, some of the official 
records read strangely at the present time, 
when Singapore is one of the great coaling 
stations and cable centres of the world. Take 
the following entry of June 21, 1826, as an ex- 
ample : " We are not aware of any other 
means of procuring coal at the Eastern settle- 
ments excepting that of making purchases from 
time to time out of the ships from Europe and 
New South Wales. Under instructions received 
from the Supreme Government we made a pur- 
chase a short time since of forty tons of the article 
from the last-mentioned country at the price of 
14 Spanish dollars per ton." The spectacle of 
the Singapore Government relying upon passing 
ships for their supplies of coal is one which will 
strike the present-day resident in the Straits as 
comic. But it is not, perhaps, so amusing as 
the attitude taken up by the Leadenhall Street 

magnates on the subject of telegraphy. In 1827, 
the Inspector-General having urged the ex- 
pediency of establishing telegraphic communi- 
cation between several points on the main 
island, the local Government directed him to 
submit an estimate of the probable cost of 
three telegraph stations, and meantime they 
authorised the appointment of two Europeans 
as signalmen on a salary of Rs. 50 a month. 
In due course the minute relating to the subject 
was forwarded home, with a further proposal 
for the erection of a lighthouse. The Court of 
Directors appear to have been astounded at the 
audacity of the telegraphic proposal. In a des- 
patch dated June 17, 1829, they wrote : " You 
will probably not find it expedient to erect at 
present the proposed lighthouse at Singapore, 
and we positively interdict you from acting 
upon the projected plan for telegraphic com- 
munication. We can conceive no rational use 
for the establishment of telegraphs in such a 
situation as that of Singapore." " No rational 
use " for telegraphs in Singapore ! How those 
old autocrats of the East India Office would 
rub their eyes if they could see Singapore as it 
is to-day — the great nerve centre from which 
the cable sj'stem of the Eastern world radiates ! 
But no doubt the Court of Directors acted 
according to the best of their judgment. 
Singapore in those far-off times wanted many 
things, and telegraphic communication might 
well appear an unnecessary extravagance 
beside them. For example, the island was 
so defenceless that in 1827, on the receipt of 
a false rumour that war had been declared 
between Great Britain and France and Spain, 
orders had to be given for the renewal of the 
carriages of guns at the temporary battery 
erected on the occupation of the island and for 
" the clearing of the Point at the entrance to 
the creek for the purpose of laying a platform 
battery." About the same time we find the 
Resident Councillor urging the necessity of 
erecting public buildings, " the few public 
buildings now at Singapore being in a very 
dilapidated state, and others being urgently 
required to be built." Meanwhile, he intimates 
that he has " engaged anew house, nearly com- 
pleted, for a court-house and Recorder's 
chambers at a yearly rental of 6,000 dollars 
for three years, it being the only house in the 
island adapted for the purpose." Another 
passage in the same communication states that 
owing to the " very improper and inconvenient 
situation of the burial ground on the side of 
Government Hill" the Inspector-General had 
selected " a more suitable spot in the vicinity 
of the town, which vi'e have directed to be 
walled in." 

Sir J. T, Claridge's judicial dictum that 
"gambling was an indictable offence" was a 
source of considerable embarrassment to the 
Government. The substantial sum derived from 
the farming of the right to keep licensed 
gaming-houses could not be readily sacrificed. 
On the other hand, it was manifestly impossible 
to disregard the opinion of the highest judicial 
authority in the settlements. Acting in a spirit 
of indecision, the Government reluctantly sus- 
pended the Gaming Farm system. The dis- 
organisation to the finance which resulted from 
the action was considerable, and with the de- 
parture of Sir J. T. Claridge it seems to have 



been felt that his opinion might be disregarded. 
The machinery consequently was set in m.otion 
again after the issue of a minute by Mr. Fuller- 
ton affirming the legality of this method of 
raising the revenue. The effect upon the 
revenue was very marked. The receipts 
advanced from Rs. 95,482.11.10 in 1829-30 to 
Rs. 177,880.15 in the year 1830-31. 

The Singapore administration as a whole at 
this juncture was in a state of no little con- 
fusion, owing to changes which were impending 
in the constitution of the Straits. In 1827 Lord 
William Bentinck, the Governor-General, had 
descended upon the settlements infused with 
what the local officialdom regarded as an un- 
holy zeal for economy. On arriving at Pinang 
he professed not to be able to see what the 
island was like for the number of cocked hats in 
the way. Forthwith he proceeded to cut down 
the extravagant establishment maintained 
there. He visited Singapore, and his sharp eye 
detected many weak points in the adminis- 
trative armour. The official shears were exer- 
cised in various directions, and retrenchment 
was so sternly enforced that Mr. Fullerton felt 
himself constrained to withdraw the official 
subsidies, or, as tliey preferred to regard them, 
subscriptions, from the local press. The Malacca 
editor kicked against the pricks, and found 
himself in difficulties in consequence. At 
Singapore a more philosophical view was 
taken of the Government action. It was 
argued that if Government was at liberty to 
withdraw its subscription the editor was free 

to withhold his papers and close his columns 
to Government announcements. Acting on 
this principle, he informed the authorities that 
they could no longer be supplied with the 

(From an engraving in tlie British Museum.) 

eleven free copies of the journal they had been 
in the habit of receiving. The officials retorted 
with a more rigorous censorship. And so the 
battle was waged until Mr. Fullerton finally 

shook the dust of the Straits from his feet in the 
middle of 1830. Before this period arrived a 
great change had been made in the govern- 
ment of Singapore. As a result of Lord 
William Bentinck's visit the settlement, in com- 
mon with Pinang and Malacca, were in 1830 
put under the control of the Government of 
Bengal. The change was sanctioned in a 
despatch of the Supreme Government dated 
May 25, 1830. In this communication the 
headquarters of the new administration was 
fixed at Singapore, with Mr. Fullerton as 
" Chief Resident " on a salary of Rs. 36,000. 
Under him were a First Assistant, with a salary 
of Rs. 24,000, and a Second Assistant, with 
Rs. 10,000. The chief officials at Pinang and 
Malacca were styled Deputy-Residents, and 
their emoluments were fixed at Rs. 30,000 for 
the former and Rs. 24,000 for the latter. Two 
chaplains, with salaries of Rs. 9,600, and a. 
missionary, with Rs. 2,500, were part of the 

Mr. Fullerton remained only a few months in 
chief control at Singapore. Before he handed 
over control to his successor, Mr. Ibbetson, he 
penned a long and able minute on the trade of 
the three settlements. He gave the following 
figures as representative of the imports and 
exports for the official year 1828-29 ■ 



... 1,76,40,969! 


- i,58,25.997i 

This paragraph relative to the method of 

(From Captain Bethune's "Views in the Eastern Archipelago," published 1847.) 



trading followed in Singapore is of interest 
from the light it throws on the early commercial 
system of the settlement : " In considering the 
extent of the trade at Singapore, rated not in 
goods but in money, some reference must be 
had to the peculiar method in which all com- 
mercial dealings are there conducted ; the 
unceasing drain of specie leaves not any 
scarcely in the place. Specie, therefore, never 
enters into any common transaction. All goods 
are disposed of on credit, generally for two 
months, and to intermediate native Chinese 
merchants, and those at the expiration of the 
period deliver in return not money, but articles 
of Straits produce adapted to the return cargo ; 
the value on both sides of the transaction is rated 
from 25 to 30 per cent, beyond the sum that 
would be paid in ready cash ; and as the price 
current from which the statement is rated is 
the barter and not the ready money price, the 
real value of the trade may be computed 30 per 
cent, under the amount stated." ' 

About this period a curious question, arising 
out of the occupation of the island, gave a con- 
siderable amount of trouble to the authorities- 
By the terms of the Treaty of 1815 the United 
States trade with the Eastern dependencies of 
Great Britain was confined to Calcutta, Madras, 
Bombay, and Pinang. The .construction put 
upon this provision by the Straits officials was 
that Singapore, even when under the govern- 
ment of Pinang, was not a port at which the 
citizens of the United States could trade. The 
consequence was that American ships, then very 
numerous in these seas, touched only at Singa- 
pore and proceeded to Riau, where they 
shipped cargo vi/hich had been sent on from the 
British port. The practice was not only irk- 
some to the Americans, but it was detrimental 
to British trade in that it diverted to the Dutch 
port much business which would otherwise 
have been transacted at Singapore. Eventually, 
in March, 1830, the Singapore Government, 
yielding to the pressure which was put upon 
them, agreed to allow American vessels to 
trade with Singapore. But they intimated that 
" it must be understood that such permission 
cannot of itself legalise the act should other 
public officers having due authority proceed 
against the ships on the ground of illegality." 
The concession was freely availed of, and the 
mercantile marine of the United States played 
no small part in the next few years in build- 
ing up the great trade which centred at the 

Mr. Ibbetson retired from the government in 
1833, and was succeeded by Mr. Kenneth Mur- 
chison, the Resident Councillor at Singapore. 
After four years' tenure of the office Mr. Mur- 
chison proceeded home, handing over charge 
temporarily to Mr. Samuel G. Bonham. Mr. 
Church was sent out from England to fill the 
vacant office, but he remained only a few 
months. On his departure Mr. Bonham was 
appointed as his successor, and held the ap- 
pointment until 1843. During his administra- 
tion the trade of the port greatly increased. 
Ships of all nations resorted to the settlement 
as a convenient calling place on the voyage to 
and from the Far East, while it more and more 
became an entrepot for the trade of the Eastern 

■ " Report of the East India Cnmpany's Affairs, 
1831-32," Part II. p. 656. 

seas. On I the outbreak of the China War its 
strategic value was demonstrated by the ready 
facilities it afforded for the expeditious despatch 
of troops and stores to the theatre of war. For 
nearly three years it formed the rendezvous as 
well as in great measure the base of the expedi- 
tionary force, and unquestionably no small 
share of the success of the operations was due 
to the fact that the Government had this 
convenient centre with its great resources at 
their disposal. These were halcyon days for 
Singapore merchants, and, indeed, for residents 

imagine that these waters were almost within 
living memory infested with bloodthirsty 
pirates, who prosecuted their operations on an 
organised system, and robbed and murdered 
under the very guns of the British settlements. 
Such, however, was the case, as is attested not 
merely in the works of passing travellers but in 
the formal records of Government and the pro- 
ceedings of the courts. Singapore itself, without 
doubt, was, before the British occupation, a nest 
of pirates. Thereafter the piratical base was 
transferred to the Karimun Islands, and from 

(From a sketch in llie India Office.) 

of all descriptions. So flourishing was the 
settlement that there were some who thought 
that the progress was too rapid to be really 
.healthy. One writer of the period confidently ' 
declared that the trade of the port had reached 
its maximum, and that the town had attained to 
its highest point of importance and prosperity. 
"Indeed," he added, "it is at the present 
moment rather overbuilt." Alas ! for the repu- 
tation of the prophet. Since the time his pre- 
diction was penned Singapore has considerably 
more than quadrupled in trade and population, 
and its maximum of development is still 
apparently a long way off. 


Piracy ix the Str.^its — Steam Navigation 
— Fiscal Questions. 

A BLOT, and a serious one, upon the government 
of the Straits Settlements up to and even beyond 
this period was the piracy which was rife 
throughout the archipelago. At the present 
day, when vessels of all classes sail through the 
Straits with as little apprehension as they navi- 
gate the English Channel, it is difficult to 

• " Trade and Travel in the Far East," by G. F. 
Davidson, p. 69. 

time to time, even after the Dutch annexation of 
the islands in 1827, these were a favourite resort 
of the roving hordes which battened on the trade 
of the new British port. The native chiefs were 
usually hand in glove with the pirates, and 
received toll of their nefarious trade. Thus we 
find Mr. Fullerton, in a communication to 
Government, vi^riting in April, 1829 : " Of the 
connection of the Sultan of Johore, residing 
under our protection at Singapore, and his 
relatives, the chiefs of Rhio and Lingen, with 
the pirates to the eastward there is little doubt, 
and there is some reason to believe that the ex- 
Raja of Quedah, residing under our protection 
at this island [Pinang], if he does not directly 
countenance the piratical proceedings of his 
relatives, does not use any means seriously to 
discourage them."' The usual prey of the 
pirates was the native junks which traded 
between China and the Straits ports. But 
European vessels were attacked when the 
venture could be undertaken with impunity, 
and interspersed in the prosaic records of the 
dull round of ordinary administration are 
thrilling and romantic accounts of captive 
Englishmen, and even Englishwomen, de- 
tained in bondage in the then remote interior 
by native chiefs to whom they had been 
sold by pirates. Spasmodic efforts were 
made by the authorities from time to time 

' " Straits Settlements Recurds," No. 184. 



to grapple with the evil, but, apart from a 
little bloodshed and a liberal expenditure of 
ammunition, the results were practically ml. 
The elusive pirates, in the face of the superior 
force which went out after them, showed 
that discretion which is proverbially the better 
part of valour. They lived to fight another 
day, and not infrequently that other day was 
one in the immediate future, for the intelligence 
system of the bands was well organised, and 
they usually knew the exact limits of the 
official action. 

The commercial community of Singapore 
wa-jced very restive under the repeated losses to 
which they were subjected by the piratical 
depredations. In an article on piracy on June 
17, 1830, the Singapore Chronicle stigmatised in 
sharp terms the supineness of the British and 
Dutch authorities in permitting the organised 
system of piracy which then ^xisted in the 
Straits. After stating that therg was a total 
stagnation of trade owing to rovers hovering 
within gunshot of Singapore river, the writer 
proceeded : " Our rulers say : ' Let the galled 
jade wince.' They wander the Straits in well- 
armed vessels and may well feel apathy and 
security, but were one of the select, a governor 
or resident or deputy, to fall into the hands of 
pirates, what would be the consequence ? We 
should then have numerous men-of-war, 
cruisers, and armed boats scourjng these seas. 
Indeed, to produce such an effect, though we 
wish no harm, and would exert faurselves to the 
utmost for his release, we would not care to 
hear of such an event. We have heard or 
read of a bridge in so dilapidated a condition 
that in crossing it lives were frequently lost. 
No notice was ever taken of such accidents ! 
At length, woe to the time ! on an unlucky 
morning the servant maid of Lady Mayo, un- 
fortunately for herself and the public, let a 
favourite pug dog (a poodle) drop over the 
parapet into the water. The poor dear animal 
was drowned. What was the consequence of 
such a calamity .' Was the bridge repaired 1 
No, but a new one was built ! " 

The lash of the writer's satire was none too 
severe, and it seems not to have been without 
effect, for shortly afterwards a man-of-war was 
sent to cruise about the entrance to the har- 
bour. But the measure fell very short of what 
was needed. The pirates, fully advertised of 
the vessel's movements, took care to keep out 
of the way, and when some time afterwards it 
was removed from the station their operations 
were resumed with full vigour. So intolerable 
did the situation at last become that in 1832 the 
Chinese merchants of the port, with the sanc- 
tion of the Government, equipped at their own 
expense four large trading boats fully armed to 
suppress the pirates. The little fleet on sally- 
ing out fell in with two pirate prahus, and 
succeeded in sinking one of them. The 
Government, shamed into activity by this 
display of private enterprise, had two boats 
built at iWalacca for protective purposes. They 
carried an armament of 24-pounder guns, and 
were manned by Malays. It was a very inade- 
quate force to cope with the widespread piracy 
of the period, and the conditions not materially 
improving, petitions were in 1835 forwarded by 
the European inhabitants of Singapore to the 
King and to the Governor-General, praying 

for the adoption of more rigorous measures. 
In response to the appeal H.M. sloop WolfwTis 
sent out with a special commission to deal with 
the pirates. Arriving on March 22, 1836, she 
conducted a vigorous crusade against the 
marauders. The pirates were attacked in 
their lairs and their boats either captured or 
destroyed. One of the prahus seized by the 
Wolf was 54 feet long and 15 feet beam, but 
the general length of these craft was 56 feet. 
They were double-banked, pulling 36 oars — 18 
on each side. The rowers were of the lower 
castes or slaves. Each prahu had a stockade 
not far from the bow, through which was 
pointed an iron 4-pounder. There was another 
stockade aft on which were stuck two swivels, 
and around the sides were from three to six 
guns of the same description." The brilliant 
work done by the Wolf was greatly appreciated 
by the mercantile community at Singapore. 
To mark "their grateful sense of his unwearied 
and successful exertions " the European and 
Chinese merchants presented to Captain Stan- 
ley, the commandant of the Wolf a sword of 
honour, and a public dinner was given to him 
and his officers on June 14, 1837, at which 
most complimentary speeches were delivered. 
Severely as the pirates had been handled by 
the Wolf, the iniquitous trade had only been 


(A substitute for shot, used in old times by the Malay 

pirates. From a slcetch in the India Office ) 

scotched. It developed into activity again and 
again subsequently, and was not finally wiped 
out until after repeated expeditions had been 
conducted against the marauders. As far as 
piracy on the open sea was concerned the 
development of steam navigation did more 
than anything else to remove the curse from 
the Straits. The first experience of the ruilians 
of the new force had in it an element of grim 
amusement. In 1837 the Diana, a little steam 
consort of the Wolf, was cruising in the Straits 
when she fell in with a pirate flotilla. The 
marauders, thinking she was a sailing-boat on 
fire, and therefore an easy prey for theiT), bore 
down upon her, firing as they approached. To 
their horror the Diana came up close against 
the wind and then suddenly stopped before 
the leading prahu, pouring a deadly fire into 
the pirate ranks. The process was repeated 
before each craft of the flotilla, with the result 
that the force in the end was almost annihilated. 
Profiting by their bitter experience on this and 
other occasions, the pirates confined their opera- 
tions to those parts of the coast on which the 
shallow waters and numerous creeks provided 
a safe refuge in case of attack by war vessels, 
and so they contrived to postpone for years 
the inevitable end of the system which had 
flourished for ages in the archipelago. 
■ '* Anecdotal History of Singapore." 

The introduction of steam navigation into 
the Straits had such wide-reaching effects on 
the trade of Singapore that a reference to the 
subject falls naturally into a survey of the his- 
tory of the settlement. In an earlier part of 
this work we have seen that to the Dutch 
belongs the honour of placing the first steam 
vessel on the Straits. The Vander Capellan 
was not what would be considered in these 
days a success. It steamed only a few knots 
an hour, could keep the sea merely for a very 
short time, and its passages were frequently 
interrupted by breakdowns of the machinery. 
Still, its perforinances were sufficiently re- 
markable to suggest the enormous possibilities 
of the new force in the usually calm waters of 
the Straits, After its appearance a scheme 
was mooted for the establishment of a steam 
service between Singapore, Batavia, Malacca, 
Pinang, and Calcutta. The expectation was 
that the passage from the former port to 
Calcutta, which in the case of sailing ships 
occupied five weeks, would not take more than 
eight days. Nothing came of the project im- 
mediately. The pioneers were before their 
time. They had to reckon with an immense 
amount of prejudice on the part of vested 
interests and a still larger degree of honest 
incredulity as to the financial practicability of 
working so expensive an agency as steam 
appeared to be. We get a vivid impression of 
the doubtful attitude of the Singapore commu- 
nity in the columns of the Singapore Chronicle 
in 1828. The Malacca paper about the middle 
of that year published an article enthusiastically 
recommending the introduction of steam navi- 
gation. The Singapore editor in the issue of 
his paper of October 23rd, commenting on this, 
said : " That it would be an agreeable, if not in 
other respects a very useful, thing to have a 
steam vessel between the settlements, which 
might visit now and then Calcutta, Java, or 
China, everyone is agreed. The only ques- 
tion, but rather a material one, is — would it 
pay ? Supposing the vessel purchased and 
ready for sea, would the money received for 
freight and passage pay the interest of the 
outlay ? Would it pay the heavy and constantly 
recurring charges of a competent commander, 
an engineer, a crew, fuel, the expenses of 
frequent repairs, including the loss of time 
consumed in them ? " The Malacca scribe, 
not deterred by this copious dash of cold 
water, reiterated his strong belief in the vir- 
tues of steam power. Thereupon the Singapore 
Chronicle remarked that it did not know how 
its Malacca contemporary reconciled his con- 
tempt of rhetoric " with the bold dash of it 
contained in his assertion that a steam vessel 
or two in the Straits would have the marvellous 
effect of doubling the commerce of those settle- 
ments." The Malacca journal retorted by 
citing the fact that fifty years previously it 
took more than a fortnight to go from London 
to Edinburgh, while the proprietors of the 
wagons used to advertise days previously 
for passengers. "Now," he went on, "there 
are no less than two thousand coaches which 
daily leave and arrive at London from all parts 
of the kingdom." He argued from this that 
steam navigation, despite its costliness and the 
difficulties which attended it, was bound to be 
successful. While this lively polemic was 



proceeding the Government of the settlements 
had before it a serious proposal to provide a 
steamer to maintain communication between 
Pinang, Malacca, and Singapore. The sug- 
gestion arose out of the difficulty of holding 
the courts of quarter sessions at each of the 
three ports at the regular periods enjoined in 
the charter. Sir J. T. Claridge, the Recorder, 
pointed out that if sailing vessels were used at 
least two months of his time would be occupied 
annually in travelling between the ports. He 
urged that the solution of the difliculty was the 
provision of a steamer, which would enable him 
to do the journey from Pinang to Singapore in 
three days, and to return viii Malacca in the 
same period. The Supreme Government de- 
clined to provide the steam vessel on the 
ground that the cost would be prohibitive. 
After this the question of steam navigation 
slumbered for some years. When next it was 
seriously revived it was in the form of a pro- 
posal for a monthly service from Singapore to 
Calcutta. A company was formed under the 
name of the New Bengal Steam Fund, with 
shares of Rs. 600 each. As many as 2,475 
shares were taken up by 706 individuals, and 
the project, with this substantial financial back- 
ing, assumed a practical shape. Eventually, in 
1841 the committee of the fund entered into an 
agreement with the P. & O. Company, and 
transferred its shares to that company. From 
this period development of steam navigation 
was rapid, until the point was reached at which 
the Straits were traversed by a never-ending 
procession of steam vessels bearing the flags of 
all the great maritime nations of the world. 

An early outcome of the establishment of 
steam navigation in the Straits was the intro- 
duction of a regular mail service. The first 
contract for the conveyance of the mails was 
made between the P. & O. Company and the 
Government in 1845. Under the terms of this 
arrangement the company contracted to 
convey the mails from Ceylon to Pinang in 
forty-five hours, and from thence to Singapore 
in forty-eight hours. The first mail steamer 
despatched under the contract was the Lady 
Wood, which arrived at Singapore on 
August 4, 1845, after an eight-day passage 
from Point de Galle. She brought the mails 
from London in the then marvellous time of 
for-ty-one days. The first homeward mail was 
despatched amid many felicitations on the 
expedition which the new conditions made 
possible in the carrying through of business 
arrangements. Unhappily, before the mail 
steamer had fairly cleared the harbour it was dis- 
covered that the whole of the prepaid letters had, 
through the blundering of some official, been 
left behind. This contretemps naturally caused 
much irritation, but eventually the community 
settled down to a placid feeling of contentment 
at the prospect which the mail system opened 
up of rapid and regular intercourse with Europe 
and China and the intermediate ports. 

From time to time, as Singapore grew and 
its revenues increased, attempts were made to 
tamper with the system of Free Trade on 
which its greatness had been built. As early 
as 1829, when the temporary financial difficulty 
created by the enforced suspension of the 
Gaming Farm system necessitated a considera- 
tion of the question of creating new sources 

of revenue, we find Mr. Presgrave, who was 
in temporary charge of the administration at 
Singapore, suggesting a tax on commerce as 
the only means of supplying the deficiency. 
He expressed the view that such an impost 
would not injure the rising commerce of the 
island provided judicious arrangements were 
made for exempting native trade from some of 
those restrictive measures usually attendant on 
custom-house regulations. "The policy of 
exempting the trade from all impositions on 
the first establishment of Singapore," he pro- 
ceeded to say, " cannot, I imagine, be called 
in question ; but as the trade has now passed 
the stage of its infancy I am of opinion there 
is little to apprehend from casting away the 
leading strings."' The " leading strings " were, 
fortunately, not cast away. The Supreme 
Government was opposed to any change and 
the Court of Directors, though not con- 
spicuously endowed with foresight at this time, 
were wise enough to realise that Singapore's 
prosperity was bound up in its maintenance 
as a free port. The re-establishment of the 
Gaming Farm set at rest the question for the 
time being ; but there was a fresh assault 
made on the principle in 1836, when the 
efforts for the suppression of piracy imposed a 
burden upon the Supreme Government which 
was disinclined to bear. The idea then 
mooted was the levying of a special tax on 
the trade of the three settlements to cover the 
charges. A draft bill was submitted to Mr. 
Murchison, the Resident, for his opinion, and 
he in turn consulted the mercantile com- 
munity. Their reply left no shadow of doubt 
as to the unpopularity of the proposals. A 
public meeting of protest, summoned by the 
sheriff, held on February 4, 1836, passed 
strongly worded resolutions of protest and 
adopted a petition to Parliament to disallow 
the scheme. In August, Lord Glenelg, the 
Secretary for the Colonies, wrote saying that 
the measure was deprecated by the Govern- 
ment and would find no countenance from 
them. In November the India Board directed 
the Supreme Government to suspend the 
proposals, if not enacted, and if enacted to 
repeal them. The Indian authorities, defeated 
on the question of a direct impost, in 1837 
returned to the charge with a tonnage duty 
on square-rigged vessels. The scheme came 
to nothing at the time, but it was revived 
about twenty years later. A protest was 
promptly forwarded to the home authorities 
from Singapore against the project. The 
Court of Directors, on receiving this, wrote to 
the Governor-General on March 25, 1857, to 
inquire if there was any foundation for the 
statement that dues were to be levied. "You 
are doubtless avirare," the Court wrote, "that 
when this subject was under our consideration 
in the year 1825 we signified our entire appro- 
bation of the abolition of port dues at Singa- 
pore ; and that in the following year we 
expressed our opinion that the establishment 
of duties on imports and exports at that settle- 
ment would be inexpedient. The success which 
has hitherto attended the freedom of trade at 
these ports has confirmed the opinion ex- 
pressed to you in these despatches, and we 
should deprecate the imposition of any burden 
^ " Straits Settlements Records," Xo. 153. 

on the commerce of the Straits Settlements 
excepting under circumstances of urgent 

The Government of India replied that they 
had no intention to impose customs duties at 
Singapore. They explained that with regard 
to the levy of port dues, after the Port Regu- 
lation Act of 1855 was passed a request was 
made to the Straits Government, in common 
with other local administrations, for certain 
information to enable the Government to 
pass a supplementary Act for the regulation 
of port due fees. On February 10, 1856, 
the Governor of the Straits replied that if not 
considered to interfere with the freedom of 
the port he was inclined to agree with the 
imposition of a due of half an anna per ton on 
all square-rigged vessels, and would further 
recommend that all native ships clearing out 
of the harbour should pay a fee of two rupees 
for junks and one rupee for boats of all 
descriptions. " The amount so realised would," 
the Governor said, " provide for all present 
expenses and enable us to do all that may be 
necessary for the efficient management of the 
harbours and their approaches." The de- 
spatch pointed out that dues were abolished 
at Singapore in 1823, not because they were 
contrary to any sound principle, but because 
they were unfairly assessed and were incon- 
sidelable in amount. The strong expression 
of opinion from the Court of Directors was 
not without its effect. The scheme was con- 
veniently' shelved, and amid the larger ques- 
tions which speedily arose in connection with 
the transfer of the government of India to the 
Crown it was forgotten. 

Apart from this matter of imposts on the 
trade, there was from time to time serious 
dissatisfaction with the control of the Govern- 
ment of India of the settlement. In 1847 
the discontent found vent in two petitions to 
Parliament, one with reference to an Indian 
Act (No. III. of 1847) transferring the appoint- 
ment of police officers from the court of 
judicature and quarter sessions to the Crown, 
and the other asking that municipal funds 
should be placed under the management of a 
committee chosen by the ratepayers, which 
had always been the case, but which practice 
was rendered doubtful in the opinion of the 
Recorder (Sir W. Norris) by another Act. An 
able statement in support of the petition was 
drawn up by Mr. John Crawfurd, a leading 
citizen. The facts set forth in this document 
constituted a very striking picture of the 
progressive growth of the settlement. Mr. 
Crawfurd wrote : 

" The industry of the inhabitants of Singa- 
pore has created the fund from which the 
whole revenues are levied. This is made 
evident enough when the fact is adverted to 
that ■ eight-and-twenty years ago the island, 
which has now fifty thousand inhabitants, was 
a jungle with 150 Malay fishermen imbued 
with a strong propensity to piracy and no 
wealth at all, unless it were a little plunder. At 
the present time the entire revenues may be 
safely estimated at not less than ;£'5o,ooo per 
annum, being equal to a pound sterling per 
head, which is equal to about five-fold the 
ratio of taxation yielded by the population of 



"The revenues are divided into two 
branches, although the division be in reality 
little better than arbitrary — the general and the 
police ; or taxes and rates. The first consists 
of excise on wine, spirits, and opium ; of quit- 
rents ; of the produce of the sale of wild 
lands ; of fees and fines ; of postages, &c. The 
second is a percentage on the rental of houses. 
The general revenue amounted in 1845-46 in 
round numbers to ^^14,000 and the local one to 

industrv of the inhabitants — a fund wholly 
created within the short period of twenty-eight 
years. I cannot see, then, with what show of 
reason it can be said that the Executive 
Government pays the police, simply because it 
is the mere instrument of disbursement." 

Mr. Crawfurd went on to say that the 
practice with respect to the colonies under the 
Crown had of late years been rather to extend 
than to curtail the privileges of the inhabitants. 


(From " Skizzen aus Singapur und Djohor.") 

;£'7,ooo, making a total of £21,000— a sum 
which, if expended with a just economy, ought 
to be adequate to every purpose of government 
in a small sea-girt island, with a population for 
the most part concentrated in one spot. 

" From this statement it is plain enough that 
whether the police force is paid wholly out of 
the police revenue or partly from the police 
and partly from the general revenue, it must, 
in any case, be paid out of the produce of the 

and he expressed a hope that the East India 
Company would be prepared to follow a course 
" which, by conciliating the people, secures 
harmony, strengthens the hands of the local 
Government, and consequently contributes 
largely to facilitate the conduct of the adminis- 
tration.'' In this statement, as Mr. Buckley 
suggests in his work, we have possibly the 
commencement of the movement which led 
twenty years afterwards to the transfer of the 

settlements from the contiol of the Government 
of India to that of the Colonial Office. How- 
ever that may be, the mercantile community of 
Singapore was unquestionably becoming less 
and less disposed to submit their increasingly 
important concerns to the sole arbitrament of 
the prejudiced and sometimes ill-informed 
bureaucracy of India. 

One notable interest which was at this time 
coming rapidly to the front was the planting 
industry. One of Raffles's first concerns after 
he had occupied the settlement was to stimu- 
late agricultural enterprise. On his initiative 
the foundations of a Botanical Department 
were laid, and plants and seeds were distributed 
from it to those settlers who desired to culti- 
vate the soil. The first-fruits of the under- 
taking were not encouraging. Compared with 
Pinang, the settlement offered little attraction 
to the planter. The soil was comparatively 
poor, the labour supply limited, and the island 
was largely an uncleared waste, ravaged by 
wild beasts. Gradually, however, the best of 
the land was taken up, and, aided by an 
excellent climate, the various plantations 
flourished. A statement prepared by the 
Government surveyor in 1848 gives some 
interesting particulars of the extent of the 
cultivation and the results accruing from it. 
There were at that time 1,190 acres planted 
with 71,400 nutmeg-trees, the produce of which 
in nutmegs and mace amounted to 656 piculs, 
yielding an annual, value of 39,360 dollars. 
There were 28 acres planted with clove-trees. 
Coconut cultivation occupied 2,658 acres, the 
number of trees being 342,608, and the produce 
yielding a value of 10,800 dollars. Betel-nut 
cultivation absorbed 445 acres, and upon this 
area 128,281 trees were planted, yielding 1,030 
dollars annually. Fruit trees Occupied 1,037 
acres, and their produce was valued at 9,568 
dollars. The gambler cultivation covered an 
extent of 24,220 acres, and the produce was 
valued at 80,000 dollars. The pepper culti- 
vation was stated at 2,614 acres, yielding 
108,230 dollars annually. Vegetable gardens 
covered 379 acres, and the produce was stated 
at 34,675 dollars. The siri or pawn vines 
extended to 22 acres, and yielded 10,560 dollars, 
while sugar-cane, pineapples, rice, or paddy 
engrossed 1,962 acres, and the estimated 
produce was valued at 32,386 dollars. The 
quantity of ground under pasture was 402 
acres, valued at 2,000 dollars annually. The 
total gross annual produce of the island was 
valued at 328,711 dollars. 

.\t a later period the planting industry sus- 
tained a disastrous check through the failure of 
the crops consequent upon the exhaustion of 
the soil. Many of the planters migrated to 
better land across the channel in Johore, and 
formed the nucleus of the great community 
which flourishes there to-day. 

In 1845 the question of providing dock 
accommodation at Singapore was first seriously 
broached. The proposal put forward was for a 
dock 300 feet long, 68 feet wide, and 15 feet 
deep, to cost 80,000 dollars. Inadequate support 
was accorded to the scheme, and the question 
slumbered until a good many years later, when 
the famous Tanjong Pagar Dock Company 
came into existence and commenced the great 
undertaking, which was taken over by the 



Government in 1906 at a cost to the colpny of 
nearly three and a half million pounds. 

The dock scheme was suggested by the 
growing trade flowing through the Straits, with 
Singapore as an almost inevitable port of call. 
Identical circumstances led irresistibly a few 
years later to an eager discussion of the prac- 
tical aspects of telegraphic communication. 
The authorities had outgrown the earlier 
attitude which saw " no rational use " for a 
telegraphic system in Singapore, but they were 
still very far from realising the immense 
imperial potentialities which centred in an 
efficient cable system. When the subject vi'as 
first mooted in a practical way in 1858 by the 
launching of a scheme by Mr. W. H. Reed for 
the extension of the Indian telegraph lines to 
Singapore, China, and Australia, the Australian 
colonies took the matter up warmly, and 
promised a subsidy of ;f35,ooo for thirty years, 
and the Dutch Government, not less enthu- 
siastic, offered a subsidy of ;£8,Soo for the 
same period. But the Home Government 
resolutely declined to assist, and though re- 
peated deputations waited upon it on the 
subject, it refused to alter its policy. Never- 
theless the project was proceeded with, and on 
November 24, 1859, Singapore people had the 
felicity of seeing the first link forged in the 
great system of telegraphic communication 
that now exists by the opening of the electric 
cable between Singapore and Batavia. Con- 
gratulatory messages were exchanged, and the 
community were getting used to the experience 
of having their messages flashed across the 
wire, when there were ominous delays due to 
injuries caused to the cable either by the 
friction of coral rocks or by anchors of vessels 
dropped in the narrow straits through which 
the line passed. Not for a considerable time 
was the system placed on a perfectly satisfactory 
basis. In 1866 a new scheme was started for a 
line of telegraphs from Rangoon through Siam 
to Singapore, from Malacca through Sumatra, 
Java, and the Dutch islands to Australia, and 
through Cochin China to China. This project 
was not more favoured with official counten- 
ance than the earlier one, and it remained for 
private interests alone to initiate and carry 
through the remarkable system by which 
Singapore was brought into touch wilh every 
part of the civilised world by its cables 
radiating from that point. 

In political as in commercial matters the 
policy of the East India Company in relation 
to the Straits Settlements was narrow-minded 
and lacking in foresight. In some cases it 
showed an even more objectionable quality — it 
was unjust. It is difficult to find in the whole 
range of the history of British dealings with 
Asiatic races a more flagrant example of 
wrong-doing than the treatment of the Sultan 
of Kedah, or Quedah, from whom we obtained 
the grant of the island of Pinang. The story 
is told in the section of the work dealing with 
Pinang, and it is only necessary to say here 
that, having obtained a valuable territorial 
grant under conditions agreed to by its repre- 
sentative, and tacitly accepted by itself, the 
Government declined to carry out those condi- 
tions when circumstances seemed to make rati- 
fication inexpedient. At Singapore an almost 
exact parallel to the Company's action, or, to 

speak correctly, inaction in this instance, was 
furnished in its dealings with the Sultan Tunku 
All, the son of Sultan Husein, who, jointly with 
the Dato' Temenggong Abdul Rahman, had 
ceded the island to the British Government in 
1819. Sir Frank Swettenham is at great pains 
in his book to unravel the rather tangled facts, 
and it is with a sense of humiliation that they 
must be read by every self-respecting Briton 

small account, but the influx of Chinese planters 
created a revenue, and it became important to 
know to whom that revenue should be paid. 
Governor Butterworth, in a communication to 
the Supreme Government of October 21, 1846, 
spoke of the Temenggong having " irregu- 
larly " collected the small revenue — an impost 
on timber — previously existing, and recom- 
mended that the proceeds of an opium farm 

(From " Skizzen aus Singapur und Djohor.") 

who values the name of his country for fair 
dealing. The narrative is too long to give in 
detail here, but briefly it may be said that the 
dispute turned on the respective rights of the 
Sultan and the Temenggong. The controversy 
directly arose out of a request made by Tunku 
Ali that he should be installed as Sultan of 
Johore. The matter first assumed importance 
in the early days of the Chinese migration to 
Johore. Before that Johore was a territory of 

just established should be equally divided 
between the two. Accompanying this -letter 
and recommendation was an application which 
had been made by Tunku Ali that he should be 
acknowledged and installed as Sultan. The 
reply of the Government was to the effect that 
"unless some political advantage could be 
shown to accrue from the measure the Honour- 
able the President in Council declined to adopt 
it." In 1852 the question was again raised by 



MK E. A. Blundell, who was ofticiating as 
Governor at the time. This functionary ex- 
pre;ssed his inability to find any ground of 
expediency to justify the step, but he strongly 
urged the impolicy of allowing " such an 
apparently clear and undisputed claim " as 
that of Tunku Ali to remain any longer in 
abeyance. An unfavourable reply was given 
by the Supreme Government to the proposal. 
Mr. Blundell, undeterred by this, raised the 
matter afresh in a letter dated January 14, 
1853. In this communication Mr. Blundell re- 
affiritied with emphasis the justice of Tunku 
All's claims to recognition, and intimated that 
he had induced both the Sultan and the 
Temenggong to agree to an arrangement 
under which the reveime, calculated at 600 
dollars ^ej» mensem, should be divided between 
the two for a period of three years, at the ex- 
piration of which time a new calculation should 
be made. The Supreme Government on March 
4, 1853, sent a curious answer to Mr. Blundell's 
proposal of compromise. They intimated that 
they had no concern with the relations between 
the Sultan and the Temenggong, but that " if 
the arbitration in question should be proposed 
and the Temenggong should be willing to 
purchase entire sovereignty by a sacrifice of 
revenue in favour of the Sultan, the Governor- 
General in Council conceives that the measure 
would be a beneficial one to all parties.'' 
There was, of course, no question of the 
Temenggong purchasing entire sovereignty by 
a sacrifice of revenue. What had been sug- 
gested was an amicable agreement as to reve- 
nues of which the Sultan had hitherto been, to 
adopt Colonel Butterworth's phrase, " irregu- 
larly " deprived. Broadly speaking, however, 
the despatch may be accepted as sanctioning 
the proposal put forward by Mr. Blundell. An 
mterval of some months elapsed after the 
receipt of the communication, and when the 
subject again figures on the records it assumes 
a different aspect. Colonel Butterworth, who 
had been away on leave, finding Tunku Ali 
" entangled with an European merchant at 
Singapore," declined to arbitrate, and went to 
Pinang. Afterwards negotiations apparently 
were carried on by Mr. Church, the Resident 
Councillor, and finally, as an outcome of them, 
a proposal was submitted to the Supreme 
Government that Tunku Ali should be installed 
as Sultan, should be allowed to retain a small 
strip of territory known as Kesang Muar, in 
which the graves of his ancestors were situated, 
that he should receive S,ooo dollars in cash, and 
that he should be paid 500 dollars a month in 
perpetuity. In consideration of these conces- 
sions he was to renounce absolutely all sove- 
reign rights in Johore. After a considerable 
amount of negotiation between the parties 
these terms were embodied in a treaty dated 
March 10, 1855, which Tunku Ali reluctantly 
signed. Sir Frank Swettenham, whose sym- 
pathies are very strongly displayed on the side 
of the Sultan, significantly mentions that the 
annual revenues of Johore "have amounted to 
over a million dollars for some years, and they 
are now probably about 1,200,000 dollars, or, 
say, ;^i40,ooo." The later phases of this dis- 
agreeable episode may be related in his words. 
" Sultan Ali is dead, and his son would still be 
in receipt of 500 dollars a month from Johore 

(originally about ;£r,200 a year), but the district 
of Muar has also passed away from him and 
his family to the Temenggong's successors. 
When that further transfer took place about 
twenty years ago, the allowance was by the 
efforts of Governor Sir Wm. Robinson raised 
to 1,250 dollars a month, divided amongst the 
late Sultan's family. Lastly, it must be noted 
that, though the second condition in the terms 
submitted by the Temenggong on April 3, 
1854, read, ' Tunku Ali, his heirs and successors to 
be recognised as Sultan of Johore,' the son and 
heir of Sultan Ali was never more than Tunku 
Alam, while the son and heir of the Temeng- 
gong became ' the Sultan of the state and terri- 
tory of Johore,' and that is the title held by his 
grandson, the present Sultan. The grandson 
of Sultan Ali is to-day Tunku Mahmud. If 
Sultan Ali sold his birthright in 1855 to secure 
the recognition of his title by the Government 
of India he made a poor bargain. The Govern- 
ment of India loftily disclaimed any concern 
with the relations between the Sultan and the 
Temenggong ; however indifferent the plea, it 
is one to which neither the local nor the British 
Government can lay any claim in their subse- 
quent proceedings." 


Establishment or the Crown Colony 


Whilk this act of injustice was being perpe- 
trated the sands of the Indian government of 
the Straits Settlements were running out. In 
the two and a half centuries of its connection 
with the archipelago the East India Company 
had never shown conspicuous judgment in its 
dealings with its possessions. Its successes 
were achieved in spite of its policy rather than 
because of it, and if there is one thing more 
certain than another about these valuable pos- 
sessions of the Crown, it is that they would not 
be to-day under the British flag if the govern- 
ing power, represented by the autocracy of 
Leadenhall Street, had had their way. The 
failings of the system did not diminish with 
age ; rather they developed in mischievous 
strength as the settlement grew and flourished. 
The mercantile community chafed for years 
under the restrictions, financial and adminis- 
trative, imposed upon the colony. At length, on 
the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, the feeling 
burst out into an open movement for the trans- 
fer of the administration from the Government 
of India to the Crown. The petition presented 
to the House of Commons in 1858 as a result 
of the agitation based the desire for a change 
in the system of administration on the syste- 
matic disregard of the wants and wishes of the 
inhabitants by the Government of India, and 
the disposition of the Calcutta authorities to 
treat all questions from an exclusively Indian 
point of view. It was pointed out that the 
settlements were under the control of a 
Governor appointed by the Governor-General. 
" Without any council to advise or assist him, 
this officer has paramount authority within the 
settlements, and by his reports and suggestions 
the Supreme Government and Legislative 
Council are in a great measure guided in 

dealing with the affairs of these settlements. 
It may, and indeed does in reality frequently, 
happen that this functionary, from caprice, 
temper, or defective judgment, is opposed to 
the wishes of the whole community, yet in any 
conflict of opinion so arising his views are 
almost invariably, adopted by the Supreme 
Government upon statements and representa- 
tions which the public have no knowledge of 
and no opportunity of impugning." The me- 
morialists pointed out that measures of a most 
obnoxious and harmful character had been 
introduced by the Government of India, and 
had only been defeated by the direct appeal of 
the inhabitants to the authorities at home. 
Moreover, Singapore had been made a dump- 
ing ground for the worst class of convicts from 
continental India, and these, owing to the 
imperfect system of discipline maintained, 
exercised a decidedly injurious influence on 
the community. In a statement appended to 
the report it was shown that, exclusive of dis- 
bursements for municipal purposes, the expen- 
diture in 1855-56 amounted tO;^i3i,375, against 
an income of ;^i03,i87, but it was shown that 
the deficiency was more than accounted for by 
charges aggregating ;£'75,358 imposed for mili- 
tary, marine, and convict establishments — 
" charges which are never made against a 
local reveime in a royal colony." 

Lord Canning, in a despatch discussing the 
question raised by the petition, wrote in favour 
of the change. The only object which he 
could conceive for maintaining the govern- 
ment of the Straits Settlements on its then 
footing was to have all the possessions in the 
East under one control. But, he pointed out, 
this consideration was quite as applicable to 
Ceylon, which had not in recent times been 
under the Government of India. He went at 
length into the whole question of the transfer, 
and then summarised his views in this form : 
" I consider it to be established, first, that no 
good and sufficient reasons now exist for con- 
tinuing the Straits Settlements on their present 
footing ; secondly, that very strong reasons 
exist for withdrawing them from the control of 
the Indian Government and transferring them 
to the Colonial Office ; and, thirdly, that there 
are no objections to the transfer which should 
cause her Majesty's Government to hesitate in 
adopting a measure calculated to be so advan- 
tageous to the settlements themselves." The 
Indian Government asked to be reimbursed 
the cost of new recently erected barracks for 
European troops ; but the Home Government 
objected to this, and the point was waived by 
the Indian authorities. Even then the Imperial 
Government were not at all eager to accept the 
charge. They haggled over the cost which, in 
their shortsighted vision, the settlements were 
likely to impose upon the imperial exchequer. 
The Duke of Newcastle, the then Colonial 
Secretary, in a despatch on the subject, esti- 
mated the probable deficiency in the revenue at 
from ^30,000 to ;^5o,ooo. But in his calculation 
was included an extravagant contribution for 
military purposes. It did not dawn upon the 
sapient rulers of that day that there was an 
imperial interest in maintaining a fortress at 
the entrance to the Straits of Malacca through 
which the world's trade from the West to the 
East passes. It was left to Lord Beaconsfield, 



in an eloquent passage of a memorable speech, 
to bring home to the people of Great Britain 
the vast strategic value of Singapore. 

The financial doubts raised by the Home 
Government led to the despatch to the Straits of 
Sir Hercules Robinson (afterwards Lord Ros- 
mead) to investigate on the spot a point which 
really should have been plain enough if the 
Colonial Office had been endowed with ordi- 
nary discernment. Sir Hercules Robinson's 
report was favourable, and the Government, 
acting upon it, passed through Parliament in 
the session of 1866 a measure legalising the 
status of the three settlements as a Crown 
colony, under a governor aided by a legislative 
council of the usual Crown colony type. The 
actual transfer was made on April i, 1867. It 
was preceded by some rather discreditable 
blundering in reference to the executive. The 
arrangement made between the India and the 
Colonial Offices was that all uncovenanted 
officials should remain, but that the covenanted 
servants should revert to their original appoint- 
ments in India. 

The functionaries concerned were not for- 
mally notified of the change, but were left to 
gather the information from the newspapers. 
Even then they did not know the conditions 
under which their transfer was to be carried 
out. The question was raised in the House of 
Commons on March 8, 1867. In the course of 
the discussion Mr. John Stuart Mill commented 
severely on the action of the Government in 
withdrawing these experienced officials at a 
time when their knowledge of local affairs 
would be of great value. " He wanted to 
know what the colonial system was. He 
hoped and trusted there was no such thing. 
How could there be one system for the govern- 
ment of Demerara, Mauritius, the Cape of 
Good Hope, Ceylon, and Canada ? What was 
the special fitness of a gentleman who had 
been employed in the administration of the 
affairs of one of those colonies for the govern- 
ment of another of which he knew nothing, 
and in regard to which his experience in other 
places could supply him with no knowledge ? 
What qualifications had such a man that should 
render it necessary to appoint him to transact 
business of which he knew nothing" in the 
place of gentlemen who did understand it, and 
who had been carrying it on, not certainly upon 
the- Indian system, and he believed upon no 
system whatever but the Straits Settlements 
system ?'"' As a result probably of this protest 
the arrangement for the withdrawal of the 
old officials was not carried out. But the 
Government, instead of appointing as the 
first Governor some man acquainted with the 
peculiar conditions of the Straits, sent out as 
head of the new administration Colonel Sir 
Harry Ord, C.B., an officer of the corps of 
Royal Engineers, whose administrative experi- 
ence had been gained chiefly on the West 
Coast of Africa. Though an able man, Sir 
Harry Ord lacked the qualities essential for 
dealing with a great mercantile community. 
He was autocratic, brusque, and contemptuously 
indifferent to public opinion. Moreover, he 
had an extravagant sense of what was necessary 
to support the dignity of his office, and rushed 
the colony into expenditure which was in 
excess of what it ought to have been called 


(First Governor of the Straits Settlements under the 
Crown Colony system. Taken at Government 
House. Singapore, in 1869.) 

region of small commercial importance. The 
penalty of our shortsightedness in making the 
bargain was paid in the Ashanti War, and it is 
small consolation to reflect that the Dutch on 
their side have found the transaction even less 
advantageous, since they have been involved 
in practically continuous warfare with the 
Achinese ever since. Sir Harry Ord erred in 
this matter and in others of less importance 
through a blindness to the great imperial 
interests which centre in the Straits. But it 
must be conceded that his vigorous administra- 
tion, judged from the standpoint of finance, was 
brilliantly successful. When he assumed office 
the colony was, as we have seen, not paying 
its way, and there was so little prospect of its 
doing so that the Home Government hesitated 
to assume the burden. On the conclusion of 
his term of office the revenue of the settlements 
exceeded the expenditure by a very respectable 
sum. His administration, in fact, marked the 
turning-point in the history of the Straits. 
From that period the progress of the colony 
has been continuous, and the teasing doubts of 
timid statesmen have changed to a feeling of 
complacent satisfaction at the contemplation of 
balance-sheets indicative of an enduring pros- 

Some facts and figures may here be ap- 
propriately introduced to illustrate the mar- 
vellous development of the settlements since 
the introduction of Crown government. The 
financial and trade position is clearly shown 
in the following table given in Sir Frank 
Swettenham's work and brought up to date 
by the inclusion of the latest figures : 

Expenditure in 



Revenue in Dollars. 

Value of Imports 

Value of E.xports 

ill Dollars. 

in Dollars. 












































































upon to bear. His worst defect, however, was 
his ignorance of Malay affairs. Knowing 
nothing of the special conditions of the archi- 
pelago and of the peculiar characteristics of the 
inhabitants of the colony, he perpetrated many 
blunders which a man differently equipped 
would have avoided. His worst mistake was 
his support of the exchange of our interests in 
Sumatra for Dutch concessions which made us 
masters of the inhospitable wastes of the Gold 
Coast in West Africa. By this transfer we 
renounced rights centuries old in one of the 
richest island, of the tropics for the dubious 
privilege of exercising supremacy over hostile 
tribes and a dominion over a fever-stricken 

After the grant of Crown government to the 
settlements the administration broadened out 
into a system which, as years went by, became 
more and more comprehensive of the interests 
of Malaya. In other sections of the work will 
be found a detailed description of the origin 
and growth of the existing arrangements by 
which to the government of the three original 
settlements is added the control of the Protected 
Malay States, a vast territory rich in mineral 
and agricultural wealth and of high future com- 
mercial promise. All that it is necessary to 
note here is that the marvellous development 
of this important area had its natural influence 
on the trade of Singapore as the chief port of 



the Straits. Another and slill more potent 
factor was the opening of the Suez Canal and 
the consequent impetus given to steam naviga- 
tion. In 1868 the tonnage of Singapore was 
1,300,000 ; twenty years later it had increased 
to 6,200,000 ; and to-day, after another twenty 
years, it is over 13,000,000 tons. The popula- 
tion of the city has shown an equally remarkable 
increase. In 1857 an official return issued by 
the Supreme Government placed the number of 
the inhabitants at 57,421. Each successive year 
there was a large accession to the number of 
inhabitants until 1881, when the census showed 
a population of 139,308. . Ten years later the 
number of inhabitants had risen to 184,554, ^"d 
in 1901 the return gave a population of 228,555. 
To-day the population of Singapore is estimated 
to be above 250,000, or nearly five times what 
it was fifty years since. Remarkable as the 
growth of the port has been in the past, its 
progress seems likely to be not less rapid in the 
future. Sir Frank Swettenham anticipates the 
time when Singapore will have at least a 
million inhabitants. As it is, the port — in the 
volume of its trade — is the largest in the British 
Empire next to London, Liverpool, and Hong- 
kong. Side by side with commercial progress 
there has been a steady growth in municipal 
efficiency. The history of the municipality is 
treated in detail elsewhere, but it may be noted 
here that the municipal revenue, which in 1859 
amounted to 90,407 dollars against disburse- 
ments totalling 129,396 dollars, in 1905 reached 
the enormous sum of 2,149,951 dollars, as com- 
pared with an expenditure of 2,158,645 dollars. 
In the five years ending 1905 the municipal 
income was almost doubled. 

A question hotly debated for a good many 
years in the Straits was the contribution exacted 
by the Imperial Government from the colony 
for miUtary defence. The view of the settle- 
ments, as a purely local territory which had 
obtained in the years of the East India 
Company's administration was one which 
Whitehall adopted with complacency, and 
forthwith it proceeded to charge against the 
revenues of the colony the very heavy cost of 
maintaining a garrison which, if it had any 
raison d'etre at all, was placed where it was 
to uphold imperial as distinct from colonial 
interests. When the Imperial Government 
assumed the control of the colony the annual 
contribution of the colony towards the military 
expenses was fixed at ;^5o,r45. At or about 
this figure it remained until 1889, when, follow- 
ing upon the completion of an extensive system 
of fortification associated with the general 
scheme of protecting naval coaling stations 
abroad, the Colonial Office presented a 
peremptory demand for the increase of the 
contribution to £100,000. There was a feeling 
akin to consternation in the settlements at the 
action of the imperial authorities. With a 
rapidly falling exchange and a practically 
stationary revenue, the doubling of the mili- 
tary contribution constituted a grievous burden 
upon the colony. The payment of the larger 
sum m.eant the complete stoppage of many 
useful works urgently needed in the develop- 
ment of the settlements. Alarmed at the 
prospect which was opened up, and irritated 
at the despotic manner in which the change 
was introduced, the mercantile community of 

Singapore set on foot a vehement agitation 
against the proposal^ Official opinion in the 
colony was in strong sympathy with the 
movement, but the terms of the despatch of 
Lord Knutsford, the Secretary for the Colonies, 
in which the demand was preferred gave the 
local government no option in the matter. 
Accordingly on February 13, i8go, the neces- 
sary resolution to give effect to the Home 
Government's views was introduced in the 
Legislative Council and passed. The circum- 
stances under which the vote was sanctioned, 
however, left no doubt as to the view taken by 
official and non-official members alike. While 
the latter delivered strenuous protests against 
the action of the Imperial Government and 
voted without exception against the resolution, 
the former maintained an eloquent silence. 
The official reticence was confined to the 
debate. When the proceedings of the Council 
were sent home the Governor, Sir Clementi 
Smith, accompanied them with a powerfully 
reasoned plea against the increase, and this 
was supplemented by minutes of the same tenor 
from other members of the Government. 


Though hopelessly worsted in argument. 
Lord Knutsford declined to be moved from 
his position. He brushed aside with a few 
out-of-date quotations of earlier opinions of 
Straits people the view emphatically asserted 
in the communications he had received that 
Singapore is a great imperial outpost, the 
maintenance of which in a state of military 
efficiency is an imperial rather than a local 
concern. The Government, he said, did not 
think that the contribution was excessive or 
beyond what the colony could easily pay, and 
they would make no abatement in the demands 
already made. On the receipt of the despatch 
(of January 10, 1891) embodying this decision 
of the Colonial Office to persist in their ex- 
tortionate claim, the fires of agitation were 
kindled with new vigour in Singapore. When 
the votes came up at the Legislative Council 
for sanction on March 5, 1891, strong language 
was used by the non-official members in 

characterising the attitude assumed by the 
Home Government on the question. One 
speaker declared that the interests of the 
colony were being "betrayed" ; another re- 
inarked "that this colony should be condemned 
literally to groan under a curse inflicted upon 
it by a handful of people utterly ignorant of 
the conditions of our society is a disgrace to 
civilised government " ; while a third reminded 
her Majesty's Government "that loyalty is a 
hardy plant which asks for a fair field and no 
favour ; it withers under injustice." Once 
more a great number of protests were poutgd 
into the Colonial Office against the demand. 
The only jarring note to the chorus of con- 
demnatory criticism was supplied by Sir 
Charles Warren, the officer commanding the 
troops, who took the view that the Singapore 
people got good value for their money in the 
military protection afforded them and were 
quite able to bear the burden. Lord Knutsford, 
entrenched behind the ramparts raised by an 
exacting Treasury, still declined to make any 
reduction in the contribution. He promised, 
however, that " if unfortunately the revenues 
of the colony should decrease," her Majesty's 
Government would be prepared to review the 
situation. The revenues of the colony un- 
fortunately did decrease in 1890 and in 1891 
as compared with 1889, and promptly a request 
was preferred to the Colonial Office for the 
redemption of the pledge. 

After a considerable amount of additional 
controversy and ^ vigorous agitation of the 
question both in the Straits and at home, 
the Marquess of Ripon, who had succeeded 
Lord Knutsford as Colonial Secretary on the 
change of Government, in a despatch dated 
November 6, 1894, announced that the Govern- 
ment were prepared to reduce the colonial 
contribution to ;£8o,ooo for 1894 and £90,000 
for 1895. At the same time it was intimated 
that the contributions for the years 1896-97-98 
were provisionally fixed at £100,000, £110,000, 
and £120,000. This re-arrangement of the 
contributions left the ultimate liability pre- 
cisely where it was, and not unnaturally the 
colony emphatically declined to accept Lord 
Ripon's view that " sensible relief " had been 
afforded. A further period of agitation fol- 
lowed, culminating as a final protest in the 
resignation of three members of the Legislative 
Council, of eighteen justices of the peace, and 
of the whole of the members of the Chinese 
Advisory Board — an important body which is a 
link between the Government and the Chinese 
community. This dramatic action convinced 
the Imperial Government at length that the 
inhabitants of the Straits Settlements were in 
earnest in their determination not to submit to 
the burden of the heavy military contribution. 
In a despatch dated June 28, 1895, Lord Ripon 
intimated that the Government were prepared 
lo settle the question of a military contribution 
on the basis of an annual payment equivalent 
to 17J per cent, of the total revenue of the 
colony. In this arrangement the colonists 
were compelled perforce to acquiesce. But 
they have never acknowledged the justice of 
the principle upon which the payment is fixed. 
The imperial authorities on their part have 
every reason to congratulate themselves on the 
change introduced in the method of assessing 



the payment, for the military contribution in 
1905 was 1,(511,585 dollars— practically double 
the amount which the colonists regarded as 
so excessive. 

Singapore's development as a great imperial 
outpost and commercial entrepot is proceeding 
on lines commensurate with the magnificence 
of its strategical position and the vastness of its 
trade. The acquisition by Government of the 
Tanjong Pagar Dock Company's property in 
circumstances which are fully dealt with else- 
where in these pages has strengthened the 
naval position enormously by providing under 
absolute Government control a base for the 
refitting and repair of the largest vessels of 
his Majesty's navy in Far Eastern seas. On 
the purely commercial side an equally im- 
portant step forward has been taken by the 
acceptance of the tender of Sir John Jackson, 
Ltd., for the construction of new harbour 
works involving an immediate expenditure of 
about a million and a quarter sterling. With 
these striking evidences that the importance of 

Singapore both for imperial and trade purposes 
is fully realised in the highest quarters, there is 
every reason to hope that its future will be one 
of uninterrupted and ever-increasing prosperity. 
It has been said that \ou cannot set limits to 
the march of a nation. He would be a wise 
man who would set limits to the march of 
Singapore. With the great markets of China 
still to be opened up to trade, and with the 
Malay countries only as yet in the first stage 
of their development, it may very well be that 
the port, phenomenal as its past progress has 
been, is only on the threshold of its career. 
Certainly nothing short of a calamity which will 
paralyse the trade of the world is likely to put 
a period to its advancement to a position in 
the very first rank of the cities of the Empire. 

.A.S we began this historical survey of Singa- 
pore with a reference to its great founder, so 
we may appropriately end it by quoting the 
eloquent words used by Sir Frederick Weld, 
the then Governor of the Straits Settlements, in 
unveiling the Raffles statue at Singapore on 

the occasion of the Jubilee celebration in [887. 
" Look around," said his Excellency, " and a 
greater monument than any that the highest art 
or the most lavish outlay can raise to Raffles is 
visible in this, that his name is still held in 
affectionate veneration by all our races, that all 
acknowledge the benefits that have resulted 
from his wise policy. See that crowd of 
splendid shipping in the harbour in front of 
his statue. Cast a glance at the city which 
surrounds it, on the evidences of civilisation — 
churches, public buildings and offices, law 
courts, educational establishments — in the 
vicinity of this spacious recreation ground on 
which we stand and near which he landed. 
Were this all, it would be still sufficient to say. 
Si motnunentum qiiceris circumspicc. But this 
is only a small part of the monument. Look 
for it in other parts of the colony. Look for it 
in the native States. . . . Look for it in the con- 
stantly increasing influence of the British rtame 
in these parts, and j'ou will say with me that in 
Raffles England had one of her greatest sons." 


The Foundation of the Settlement. 

PINANG, like Singapore, owes its existence 
as a British possession mainly to the 
statesmanlike foresight, energy, and diplomatic 
resourcefulness of one man. Raffles's prototype 
and predecessor in the work of Empire-building 
in the Straits was Francis Light, a bold and 
original character, who passed from the 
position of trader and sea captain to that of 
administrator by one of those easy transitions 
which marked the history of the East India 
Company in the eighteenth century. Light 
was born at Dallinghoo, in Suffolk, on Decem- 
ber 15, 1740. His parentage is somewhat 
obscure, though the presumption is that he 
came of a good stock, for he claimed as a 
relative William Negus, son of Colonel Francis 
Negus, who held high office in the court of 
George I., and who was the owner of extensive 
estatesatDallinghoo and Melton. Light received 
his early education at the Woodbridge Grammar 
School, and afterwards was sent into the navy, 
serving as midshipman on H.M.S. Arrogant. 
In 1765 he quitted the service and went out to 
India, to seek his fortune, after the manner of 
many well-bred young men of that day. 
.Arrived at Calcutta, he was given the command 
of a ship trading between India, Lower Siam, 
and the Malay port^. From that time forward 
he found practically exclusive employment in 
the Straits trade. An excellent linguist, he 
speedily acquired the Siamese and Malay 
languages, and through their medium, assisted 
no doubt by the sterling integrity of his char- 
acter, he won the confidence of the native 
chiefs. His headquarters for a good many 
years were at Salang, or Junk Ceylon, as it 
was then known, a large island on the north- 
west side of the peninsula. Here he lived 
amongst the Malay population, honoured and 
respected. The ties of intimacy thus formed 

with the native population brought abundant 
fruit in a prosperous trade and, what is more 
to our immediate purpose, a close personal 
knowledge of native politics. Experience of 
the Straits taught him, as it taught Raffles a 
good many years later, that if British influence 
was to hold its own against Dutch exclusive- 
ness a more efficient and central settlement 
than Bencoolen must be found. Impressed 

(From a portrait in the National Portrait Gallery.) 

with this idea he, in 1771, laid a definite pro- 
posal before Warren Hastings, the then 
Governor-General, for the acquisition of 
Pinang as "a convenient magazine for Eastern 
trade." The great man had already, in his 
statesmanlike vision, seen the necessity of 
planting the British flag more firmly in this 
sphere of the Company's influence. But for 
some reason Light's proposal was coldly re- 
ceived. Undismayed by the rebuff. Light 
continued to press the importance of establish- 
ing a new settlement, and in 1780 he proceeded 

to Calcutta to lay before Hastings a definite 
scheme for the creation of a British port on 
Salang. The illustrious administrator received 
him kindly, and probably would have fallen in 
with his views had not the outbreak of war 
with the French and the Dutch diverted his 
attention to more pressing issues. The matter 
was shelved for some years, and then Mr. 
Kinloch was despatched by the Supreme 
Government to Achin to attempt to found a 
settlement in that part of the Straits. The mis- 
sion was an entire failure owing to the hostile 
attitude assumed by the natives. Light chanced 
to be in Calcutta on Mr. Kinloch's return, and 
he seized the opportunity afforded by the con- 
tretemps of again pressing the desirability of 
the acquisition of Pinang upon the attention 
of the authorities. In a communication on the 
subject dated February 15, 1786, he pointed out 
to the Government that the Dutch had been so 
active in their aggression that there was no 
place left to choose from but Junk Ceylon, 
.A.chin, and Quedah (Kedah). He went on to 
show that .\chin could not be adopted without 
subduing all the chiefs, and that if Junk Ceylon 
were chosen it would take six or seven years 
to clear the jungle sufficiently to furnish enough 
produce to supply the needs of the fleet, though 
the island was rich in minerals and could be 
easily fortified. There remained for considera- 
tion Quedah, or (as in deference to modern 
spelling we had better call it) Kedah, and in 
regard to this situation Light stated that he 
was able to report that the Sultan of Kedah 
had agreed to cede the island of Pinang. He 
enclosed a letter from the Sultan, in which the 
chief set forth the terms upon which he was 
willing to make the cession. The communica- 
tion was as follows : — 

"Whereas Captain Light, Dewa Raja, came 
here and informed me that the Rajah of Bengal 
ordered him to request Pulau Pinang from me 
to make an English settlement, where the 



agents of the Company might reside for the 
purpose of trading and building ships of war to 
protect the island and to cruise at sea, so that if 
any enemies of ours from the east or the west 



(From a portrait in the National Portrait Gallery.) 

should come to attack us the Company would 
regard them as enemies also and fight them, and 
all the expenses of such wars shall be borne by 
the Company. All ships, junks or prows, large 

and small, which come from the east or the 
west and wish to enter the Kedah river to trade 
shall not be molested or obstructed in any way 
by the Company, but all persons desirous of 
coming to trade with us shall be allowed to do 
as they please ; and at Pulau Pinang the 

" The articles of opium, tin, and rattans are 
monopolies of our own, and the rivers Muda, 
Prai and Krian are the places from whence tin, 
rattans, cane, besides other articles, are obtained. 
When the Company's people, therefore, shall 
reside at Pulau Pinang, I shall lose the benefit 
of this monopoly, and I request the captain will 
explain this to the Governor-General, and beg, as 
a compensation for my losses, 30,000 dollars a 
year to be paid annually to me as long as the 
Company reside at Pulau Pinang. I shall permit 
the free export of all sorts of provisions, and 
timber for shipbuilding. 

"Moreover, if any of the agents of the Com- 
pany make loans or advances to any of the 
nobles, chiefs, or rajahs of the Kedah country, 
the Company shall not hold me responsible for 
any such advances. Should any one in this 
country become my enemy, even my own 
children, all such shall be considered as enemies 
also of the Company ; the Company shall not 
alter their engagements of alliance so long as 
the heavenly bodies continue to perform their 
revolutions ; and when any enemies attack us 
from the interior, they also shall be considered 
as enemies of the Company. I request from the 
Company men and powder, shot, arms, large 
and small, also money for the purpose of 

carrying on the war, and when the business is 
settled I will repay the advances. Should these 
propositions be considered proper and acceptable 
to the Governor-General, he may send a confi- 
dential agent to Pulau Pinang to reside ; but if 
the Governor-General does not approve of the 
terms and conditions of this engagement let 
him not be oflfended with me. Such are my 
wishes to be made known to the Company, and 
this treaty must be faithfully adhered to till the 
most distant times." 

The Government were impressed, as well they 
might be, with the facts and the letter brought 
to their notice by Light, and in a little more 
than a week from the receipt of his communi- 
cation the Governor-General formally expressed 
his approval of the scheme for the setllement of 
Pinang on the terms outlined. The Govern- 
ment themselves appear to have earlier un- 
successfully endeavoured to obtain a grant of 
the island from the Sultan, and there were many 
speculations at the time as to the means by 
which Light had succeeded where the 
authorities had failed. Out of the gossip of the 
period arose a romantic but quite apocryphal 
story that Light had received the island as a 
dower with his bride, who was a daughter of 
the Sultan. Light had certainly married a 
daughter of the country a few years before this 
period in the person of Martina Rozells, a ladv 
of Siamese-Portuguese or Malay-Portuguese 
descent, but she was not related to the Raja of 
Kedah, and she was not a princess. Romance, 
however, dies hard, and so it is that the tradi- 
tion of royal ancestry for Light's descendants 

(Sketch by Captain R. Elliott, R.X., published in Fisher's " Views in India China, and the Shores of the Red Sea.") 



has been handed down until we meet with it in 
an official publication so recent as the last 
catalogue of the National Portrait Gallery, 
where Colonel Light, the founder of Adelaide, 
Francis Light's eldest son, is described as 
"Son of a commander in the Indian navy and 
a Malayan princess." 

Light, having convinced the authorities that 
the time had come for action, found them eager 
to carry the negotiations through with as little 
delay as possible. Early in May, 1786, he 
sailed from Calcutta with definite instructions 
to complete the engagement with the Sultan of 
Kedah for the cession of Pinang. He reached 
Kedah Roads near Alor Star on June 29th, and 
landed on the following morning under a salute 
from the fort and three volleys from the 
marines. A leading official received him, and 
from him he learned that war was proceeding 
between Siam and Burma, and that the Sultan 
feared that he himself might be involved. 
Light re-embarked and landed again on the ist 
of July in due slate. There was some little 
delay in his reception by the Sultan, owing to 
the state officials demurring to the presents 
which Light brought on the ground of their in- 
adequacy. Eventually, on the 3rd of July Light 
was ushered into the Sultan's presence. He 
found him greatly troubled at a passage in the 
Governor-General's letter which seemed to him 
to threaten pains and penalties if the arrange- 
ment was not made. Light diplomatically 
smoothed the matter over, and the treaty was 
duly signed, subject to the approval of the 

authorities in London. On the loth of July 
Light took leave of the Sultan, and four days 
later, having re-embarked his escort and suite, 
proceeded in the Eliza, the Prince Henry and 
the Speedwell accompanying him, to Pinang. 
The little flotilla dropped anchor in the harbour 
within musket shot of the shore on the 15th of 
July. Two days later Lieutenant Gray, of the 
Speedwell, with a body of marines, disembarked 
on Point Pinaggar, a low sandy tongue of land, 
which is considered by some to be now the 
Esplanade, but which is by Messrs. Cullin and 
Zehnder deemed to be the land near the Fort 
Point, between the end of Light Street and the 
Iron Wharf opposite the Government buildings. 
Lieutenant Gray's advance party was reinforced 
on the following day by the p;uropeans, and 
thenceforward the work of establishing the 
occupation proceeded with the utmost expedi- 
tion. Soon a little town of atap houses arose 
about the shore, with, on one side, a small 
bazaar accommodating a number of Kedah 
traders who had been attracted to the spot by 
the prospect of lucrative business. The artillery 
and stores were landed on the nth of August, 
and H.M.S. Valentine opportunely arriving in 
harbour the same day. Light deemed that the 
occasion was auspicious for taking formal pos- 
session of the island. The ceremony took place 
about noon, the captains of the ships in harbour 
and some gentlemen passengers, with a body of 
marines and artillerymen, assisting. After the 
Union Jack had been hoisted on the flagstaff and 
the artillery and the ships had thundered out a 

salute, the proclamation was made that the 
island in future would be known as Prince of 
Wales Island, in honour of the Heir Apparent 
(afterwards George IV.), whose birthday fell the 



(Governor-General of India during the period immediately 

following the occupation of Pinang. From a portrait 

in the National Portrait Gallery.) 

next day, and that the capital would be known 
as Georgetown, out of compliment to the sove- 
reign, George III. There were mutual con- 
gratulations on the birth of the new settlement, 

(From Daniell's " Views of Prince of Wales Island," published early in the nineteenth century.) 



which everyone recognised was destined to have 
before it a useful career. 

The faith of Light and his associates in the 
future of the settlement was based rather on an 
appreciation of the natural advantages of the 
situation than on any material attractions in 
the island itself. Truth to tell, the Pinang of 
that day was little better than an uninhabited 
waste. Supplies of all kinds had to be obtained 
from Kedah, for there was practically no culti- 
vation. Roads of course there were none, not 
even of the most rudimentary description. The 
interior was a thick jungle, through which 
every step taken by civilisation would have to 
be by laborious efifort. Still, the town was laid 
out with a complete belief in the permanency of 
the occupation. To each of the native nation- 
alities separate quarters were allotted. The 
European or official quarter was marked out on 
imposing lines. As a residence for himself and 
a home for future chief administrators of the 
colony Light built a capacious dwelling, which 
he called, in compliment to the county of his 
birth, Suffolk House.and which, standing in park- 
like grounds, bore more than a passing resem- 
blance to the comfortable country houses in the 
neighbourhood of Melton, in Suffolk, with which 
he was familiar. The new settlement early 
attracted emigrants from various parts. From 
Kedah came a continual stream, prominent 
amongst the intending settlers being a consi- 
derable number of Indians, or Chulias as they 
were then known. Malays, good and bad, put 
in an appearance from various quarters, and a 
French missionary transferred himself with his 
entire flock from the mainland with Ihe full ap- 
proval of Light, who thoroughly realised that the 
broader the base upon which the new settlement 
was built the more prosperous it was likely to 
be. Almost every ship from the south brought, 
too, a contingent of Chinese. They would 
have come in much larger numbers but for the 
vigilance of the Dutch, who were jealous of the 
new port and did their utmost to destroy its 
prospects of success. In spite of this and other 
obstacles the settlement grew steadily. Within 
two years of the occupation there were over 400 
acres of land under cultivation, and a year or so 
later the population of the settlement was re- 
turned at the" respectable figure of io,ooo. The 
trade of the port within a few years of the 
hoisting of the British flag was of the value of 
more than a million Spanish dollars. 

Associated with the early history of Pinang 
is a notable achievement by Admiral Sir Home 
Riggs Pophara which created a great stir at the 
time. Popham, who at that period was engaged 
in private trade, in 1791 undertook to carry a 
cargo of rice from Calcutta to the Malabar coast 
for the use of the army employed there. He 
was driven oul of his course by the monsoon 
and compelled to bear up for Pinang. While 
his ship was refitting Popham made an exact sur- 
vey of the island and discovered a new channel 
to the southward, through which, in the early 
part pf 1792, he piloted the Company's fleet to 
China. His services earned for him the grati- 
tude of the East India Company and the more 
substantial reward of a gold cup, presented by 
the Governor-General. Popham was one of 
the most distinguished sailors of his time, 
and his name is well deserving of a place in 
the roll of eminent men who at one time or 

another have been connected with the Straits 

At the earliest period in the life of the settle- 
ment the question of fiscal policy arose for con- 
sideration. In a letter to Light, dated January 
22, 1787, Sir John Macpherson, the Governor- 
General, outlined the views of the Government 
on the point as follows : 

•'At present our great object in settling 
Prince of Wales Island is to secure a port of 
refreshment and repair for the King's, the 
Company's, and the country ships, and we 
must leave it to time and to your good manage- 
ment to establish it as a port of commerce. If 
the situation is favourable, the merchants will 
find their advantage in resorting with their 
goods to it, and, as an inducement to them, we 
desire you will refrain from levying any kind 
of duties or tax on goods landed or vessels 
importing at Prince of Wales Island, and it is 
our wish to make the port free to all nations." 
Thus it will be seen that Pinang was originally 
cast for the role of a free port, but fate — in plain 
truth, expediency — decided against the adoption 
of a Free Trade policy, and it was left to Sir 
Stamford Raffles to give effect to Sir John 
Macpherson's views in another sphere with 
the happiest results. Light's own opinions on 
the subject were given in a communication he 
forwarded in the first year of the occupation in 
response to a request from the Supreme Govern- 
ment to say how he proposed to meet the 
growing expenses of the Pinang administra- 
tion. Light suggested the adoption of a middle 
course between the opening of the port abso- 
lutely to all comers and the adoption of an 
all-round system of custom duties. " To levy a 
general duty on all goods which come to this 
port would," he wrote, "defeat the intention of 
Government in making remittances to China by 
the barter of the manufactures of India for the 
produce of other countries. The present situa- 
tion of the surrounding kingdoms, distracted by 
foreign and civil wars which deprive their in- 
habitants of the privilege of bringing the 
produce of their lands to this port, added to 
the various impediments thrown in the way of 
the English trade by the Dutch, who prevent 
the Chinese junks and the Malay and Bugis 
prows from passing Malacca, while by threats 
they cause some of the Malay States and by 
force oblige others to desist from trading with 
the English, are obstacles too great to admit of 
the levying with success any general duties." 
Light went on to say that in his view the island 
ought to be treated as a colony, and the expense 
of maintaining it drawn from land and not from 
the trade, which should be encouraged as much 
as possible, to the end that the export of manu- 
factures of the Company's territories in India 
might be extended, and the remittances to 
China by the sale of these manufactures in- 
creased. Still, he recognised that money had 
to be found for immediate needs, and he 
accordingly suggested a system of customs 
duties on foreign goods or goods imported in 
foreign vessels. The chief imposts were : 4 per 
cent, upon all India goods imported in foreign 
vessels ; 4 per cent, upon all goods imported in 
Chulia vessels not immediately from anj' of the 
Company's settlements ; 6 per cent, upon all 
China goods without distinction ; 6 per cent, 
upon all tobacco, salt, arrack, sugar, and coarse 

cloths, the produce or manufacture of Java or 
any other Dutch possession to the eastward ; 
6 per cent, upon all European articles imported 
by foreign ships unless the produce or manu- 
facture of Great Britain. The Supreme Govern- 
ment gave their assent to these proposals, and 
they were introduced with results so unsatis- 
factory that the system was abandoned in favour 
of a more uniform system of duties. Eventually, 
as will be seen, all imposts were abolished, and 
Pinang became, like Singapore, a free port. 
Meanwhile, a series of excise farms were set 
up to raise money for specific administrative 
purposes. These constituted for many years 
the backbone of the revenue system, and they 
still form a not unimportant part of it. 

Politically the affairs of the new settlement 
ran none too smoothly in the early period of its 
existence. Apart from the obstructiveness of 
the Dutch, Light had to deal with the serious 
discontent of the Sultan, arising out of the in- 
terpretation put by the Supreme Government 
upon their arrangement with him. Sir Frank 
Swettenham, in his work, enters at great length 
into a consideration of this question, and he 
does not hesitate to characterise in the strongest 
terms what he regards as the bad faith of the 
Supreme Government in their dealings with 
the Sultan and his successors. The point of 
the whole matter is whether, in return for the 
cession, the Government pledged themselves to 
defend the Sultan's territories against aggres- 
sion, and especially Siamese aggression. Sir 
Frank Swettenham emphatically affirms that 
they did, and the mass of documentary evidence 
which he adduces in favour of that view is cer- 
tainly fairly conclusive on the subject. Light 
himself appears to have regarded the extension 
of British protection to the State as an essential 
feature of the bargain. He again and again 
urged upon the Supreme Government with 
much earnestness the desirability of affording 
the Sultan the protection he demanded. He 
pointed out that the success of the Siamese 
would have very injurious effects on the Com- 
pany's interests. " If they destroy the country 
of Kedah," he wrote, "they deprive us of our 
great supplies of provisions, and the English 
will suffer disgrace in tamely suffering the 
King of Kedah to be cut off. We shall then 
be obliged to war in self-defence against the 
Siamese and Malays. Should your lordship 
resolve upon protecting Kedah, two companies 
of sepoys with four six-pounder field pieces, 
and a supply of small arms and ammunition, 
will effectually defend this country against the 
Siamese, who, though they are a very destruc- 
tive enemy, are by no means formidable in 
battle ; and it will be much less expense to 
give the King of Kedah timely assistance than 
be obliged to drive out the Siamese after they 
have possessed themselves of the country." 
The Calcutta authorities turned a deaf ear to 
this representation, as they did to others not 
less urgent that Light forwarded. Their hands 
were doubtless too full at the time with the 
struggle against the French to be easily turned 
towards the course to which a nice honour would 
have directed them. In Juh-, 1789, Light wrote 
to the Government at Calcutta informing them 
that the Sultan had declined to accept a mone- 
tary compensation for the island, and at the 
same time had "endeavoured to draw a full 



promise that the Honourable Company would 
assist him with arms and men in case an attack 
from the Siamese should render it necessary." 
This demand Light said he had met with the 
evasive answer that no treaty which was likely 
to occasion a dispute between the Company and 
the Siamese could be made without the appro- 
bation of the King of Great Britain. The 
Sultan, finding that diplomacy had failed to 
secure what he wanted, resolved to attempt to 
oust the English from the island. Early in 1790 
he assembled a formidable force of ten thousand 
men and a fleet of twenty war prahus manned 
by pirates at Prye. Here a stockade was 
erected, and only "a propitious day" was 
wanting for the attack. This never came, for 
Light anticipated the Sultan's move by an 
attack of his own, conducted by four hundred 
well-armed men. The stockade was captured 
and the fleet of prahus dispersed. Ultimately, 
on the l6th of April the Sultan sued for peace, 
and Light concluded a new treaty with him. 
This instrument, which was afterwards approved 
by the Supreme Government, provided for the 
e.xclusion of all other Europeans not trading or 
settling in Kedah, the mutual exchange of slaves, 
debtors, and murderers, the importation of food 
stuffs, and the payment of an annual subsidy of 
6,000 dollars to .the Sultan. The question of 
British protection remained in abeyance until 
1793, when the Home Go\'ernment issued the 
definitive instruction that " no offensive and 
defensive alliance ' should be made with the 
Rajah of Kedah." Here, as far as Light was 
concerned, the controversy ended, as he died 
in the following year, and an opportunity did 
not occur in the interval of raising the question 
afresh in the face of the direct mandate froin 
home. But to the end of his days he is believed 
to have felt acutely the injustice of which he 
had been made the unwiUing agent. 

A few months before his death Light in- 
dited a communication to Sir John Shore, 
who had succeeded Macpherson as Governor- 
General, urging the necessity of establishing a 
judicial system in the island. The letter is a 
long and able document, setting forth the 
peculiar conditions of the island, the charac- 
teristics of the various elements in the population, 
and the inadequacy of the arrangements which 
at that time existed for administering justice. 
Light concluded his survey with these remarks, 
which show the liberal, far-seeing character of 
the man : " A regular form of administering 
justice is necessary for the peace and welfare 
of the society, and for the honour of the nation 
who granted them protection. It is likewise 
improper that the superintendent should have 
it in his power to exercise an arbitrary judg- 
ment upon persons and things ; whether this 
judgment is iniquitous or not, the mode is still 
arbitrary and disagreeable to society." The 
Supreme Government, in response to the 
appeal, framed certain regulations for the 
administration of law in the settlement, and 
these remained in force until a regular judicial 
system was introduced in May, 1808, with Sir 
Edmond Stanley, K.T., as the first Recorder. 
It will be of interest before passing from this 
subject to note that one of the magistrates 
appointed under the regulations was Mr. John 
Dickens, an uncle of the great novelist, who 
previous to his appointment at Prince of Wales 

Island had practised with considerable success 
at the Calcutta Bar. An amusing story illus- 
trative of life in Pinang in those early days 
figures on the records. One morning Mr. 
Dickens was taking his usual ride when he 
met an irate suitor — a certain Mr. Douglas — 
who required " an explanation and satisfaction " 
of him relative to n case just concluded, in 
which Douglas appeared as the defendant. 
Mr. Dickens replied spiritedly that he was 
surprised at the man's daring to interrogate 
him in that manner, and told him that he would 
not permit him or any man to expect that he 
would explain his official conduct as judge. 
Upon this Douglas said he would have ample 
satisfaction, and swore that he would have the 
magistrate's blood. Mr. Dickens, not to be 
outdone, " told him he was a scoundrel, and 
that he had now an opportunity, and that if he 
had the spirit to do it, why did he not now 
take his revenge." His answer was, "that he 
had no pistols, but if he had he would." Mr. 
Dickens, in transmitting his account of the 
episode to Raffles, who was then Colonial 
Secretary, cited it as " another instance of the 
injurious effects resulting from the Hon. 
Governor-General in Council compelling me 
to examine into complaints against British 
subjects, whose judicial respect and obedience 
to mj' judicial opinion I not only cannot com- 
mand, but who think themselves authorised to 
resent as a private personal injury the judicial 
duties I perform in obedience to the injunctions 
of the Hon. Governor-General in Council." 
No doubt this protest of Mr. Dickens had no 
small influence in bringing about the establish- 
ment of the judicial system already referred to. 
Before this incident occurred, as we have 
mentioned, Light had been removed by death. 
His demise occurred on October 21, 1794, from 
malarial fever. He left behind him a widow, 
two sons, and three daughters. The elder son, 
William Light, was sent to England to the 
charge of iMr. George Doughty, High Sheriff of 
Suffolk, a frienci of Light's foster parents. He 
entered the army and served with distinction in 
the Peninsular War, finally becoming aide-de- 
camp to the Duke of Wellington. Later he 
achieved fame in quite anotlier field. As the 
first Surveyor-General of South .-iustralia he laid 
out the city of Adelaide, and he did so on lines 
which have won for the place the designation of 
" the Garden City." Every year at the elec- 
tion of mayor of Adelaide the " Memory of 
Colonel Light" is solemnly drunk. It is a 
recognition of his title to the position of 
father and founder of the city. Light's second 
son, Francis Lanoon Light, had a somewhat 
chequered career. At the time of the British 
occupation of Java he held the position of 
British Resident of Muntok, in Banka. Later 
we find him a suitor for charity at the hands of 
the East India Company on the ground that he 
was "labouring under great affliction from 
poverty and distress." The Directors, in view 
of the services of his distinguished father, 
granted him on July 4, 1821, a pension of ;£ioo 
a year. He died on October 25, 1823, so that 
he did not live long to enjoy the rather nig- 
gardly bounty of the Company. 


E .\ R L Y Y ^ A R S . 

After Light's death the Company appear to 
have had a cold fit on the subject of Prince of 
Wales Island. The first brilliant expectations 
formed of the settlement had not been realised. 
The trade did not grow in proportion to the 
expenses of administration, and there were 
numerous political difficulties to be contended 
with. In the circumstances the Government 
were disposed to lend an ear to the detractors 
of Light's enterprise, who had from the first re- 
presented the settlement as one of the Company's 
bad bargains. A proposition actually enter- 
tained by them was the abandonment of the 
settlement in favour of one on one of the Anda- 
man Islands, where a convict station and har- 
bour of refuge had already been established. 
The Government sent Major Kyd to report on 
the respective merits of the two situations. 
This officer set forth his conclusions in a com- 
munication dated August 20, 1795. They were 
opposed to the removal of the Company's centre 
of influence from Pinang. Major Kyd pointed 
out that Port Cornwallis, the alternative situa- 
tion in the Andamans, was out of the track of 
regular commerce, and that a station there 
would answer no other purpose than a harbour 
and a receptacle for con\icts, while Prince of 
Wales Island was well calculated for defending 
the Straits of Malacca and for securing commu- 
nication to the eastward. The writer doubted, 
however, whether the island could pay its way, 
though he acknowledged that if the Dutch 
authority to the eastward were not re-estab- 
lished the intercourse with Malay merchants 
would be greater and the revenues proportion- 
ately increased. The report was conclusive as 
to the superior advantages of Prince of Wales 
Island. But the Court of Directors, in dismissing 
the idea of abandonment, sardonically remarked 
that revenue at the settlement arose from the 
vices rather than the industry of the inhabitants 
— a reference to the fact that the opium and 
gaming farms were the leading items on the 
credit side of the settlement's balance-sheet. 

It is in the period immediately following 
Light's death that we first discover traces of 
the growth of a municipal system. In June, 
1795, Mr. Phihp Manington, who had suc- 
ceeded the founder of the settlement as Super- 
intendent, appointed, on a salary of Rs. 150 per 
month, a Mr. Philip Maclntyre as clerk of the 
market and scavenger, " because of the intoler- 
able condition of filth in the streets." In approv- 
ing this appointment the Supreme Government 
wrote inquiring " how far in Mr. Manington's 
opinion the imposition of a moderate tax on 
houses and grounds within the town for the 
purposes exclusively of obtaining a fund for 
cleansing and draining the town and keep- 
ing the streets in repair is practicable." The 
Superintendent, writing on September 25, 179S, 
reported the enforcement of a tax on houses 
and shops in the bazaar belonging to natives 
according to the extent of the ground occupied. 
He proceeded : " Since the above period the 
gentlemen and other inhabitants, owners of 
houses and ground situated on what is called the 
Point and within the limits of Georgetown, 
have had a meeting, and have given it as their 



opinion that the most equitable mode to adopt 
would be that a committee of gentlemen should 
be appointed to fix a valuation on every par- 
ticular^house, and that so much per cent, on 

" But," he added, " I have to observe that the 
tax I have recommended will be more than 
double sufficient to answer all expenses what- 
ever that can be incurred in the bazaar." 

which reference has been made above, the 
value of Prince of Wales Island was abundantly 
proved. In 1797 the Government of India had 
in contemplation an expedition against Manilla, 

.--^"■■^ — 



in leas. 

- — ^ 

] Governnic-nt Hi.use 

2 Court House 

3 P.iblic Officer, 

4 Grouiia rr;sc-rv--d kjr a Ch'ir..h 

' 5 Master A)tfiivJ.Mif=. OHW,. 

6 New Rice Goclowni 

7 Jail 

a Fish Wferkpt ' 

9 Fowl Mork-:-! 

10 Mosqnf built by ih'- GiiL-clil..-. 

11 Ghincs 0!Hjrch 

l2 Sepoyi' Lines 

13 Aclrniraj'5 hoil-.' 

14 Lirge W(-ll 

15 Govcrnntr;r,i An.nce.H' '.';ri- ^ 

lb Nr.w Stnr> Roij'ii?^^ 

17 P.ip-lly lill^.l Ml, 

1 ! 

i \ 

(From Sir George Leith's "Short Account of Prince of Wales Island," published 1804.) 

that valuation should be levied." In reference 
to the Government's particular inquiry, Mr. 
Manington reported that he was of opinion 
that the levying of any tax over and above 
that he had recommended would for the 
present " become a great burden on the native 
inhabitants in the bazaai, hundreds of whom 
still remain in very indigent circumstances." 

Nothing further appears to have been done at 
this juncture to establish a municipal system. 
But some years later the suggested body to 
assess the value of property was created under 
the designation of the Committee of Assessors, 
and from this authority was developed the 
existing municipal constitution. 

Two years after Major Kyd's mission, to 

and they got together a considerable force for 
the purpose. Prince of Wales Island, as the 
most advanced post of the Company, was made 
the rendezvous of the expedition. Here,' in 
August of that year, were gathered five thou- 
sand EuVopean troops with a large native 
force under the command of General St. Leger. 
The famous Duke of Wellington {then simple 



Colonel Wellesley) was present in command of 
the 33rd Regiment, whicli formed a part of the 
expedition. He seems to have been commis- 
sioned to draw up a paper on ttie settlement, 
for a " Memorandum of Pulo Penang " from his 
pen figures in the archives. The great soldier 
saw at a glance the value of the place to the 
British. He emphasised its importance as a 
military station, and showed how it could be 
held by a comparatively insignificant force 
against all comers. He concluded with 
some general remarks on the question of ad- 
ministration, recommending that the natives 
should be left under the direction of their head- 
men, while at the head of the magistracy of the 
island there should be a European magistrate 
"who should inform himself of the methods of 
proceeding and of the laws which bind the 
Chinese and the Malays." The report had its 
due weight with the authorities. Then more 
than ever it was realised that there could be no 
question of abandonment. But the administra- 
tion of the settlement was beset with too many 
difficulties for the Supreme Government to be 
altogether elated with their possession. Apart 
from financial drawbacks, there were serious 
causes of dissatisfaction arising out of the in- 
adequate policing of the settlement. The 
incident already related in which Mr. Dickens, 
the magistrate, figured, points to the chief 
direction from which trouble came. Major 
Forbes Macdonald, who succeeded to the 
government of the island on Light's death, 
gives a further and deeper insight into the 
matter in a report he drew up for presentation 

to the Supreme Government some little time 
after assuming office. He there relates how 
he has made himself acquainted with the 


(Governor-General of India from I7Q7 to 1806. From 
the portrait in tfie National Portrait Gallery.) 

people, their modes and customs. " I am 
persuaded," he wrote, " I have gained their 

confidence, although I may perhaps owe much 
of that to the fiery ordeal through which I have 
persevered, not seldom in their defence, ad- 
ministered to me by the European settlers, who 
affected to hold in contempt such feeble and, 
as they argued, not beUeved, upstart control. 
To the Europeans alone, to their interested 
motives, to their spirit of insubordination, must 
be attributed the general laxity of every depart- 
ment, for where could vigour, where could 
with propriety any restrictive regulation operate 
while the most conspicuous part of the com- 
munity not only holds itself sanctioned, but 
preaches up publicly a crusade against all 
government ? Police we have none, at least no 
regulation which deserves that epithet. Various 
regulations have been made from time to time, 
as urgency in particular cases dictated, but they 
have all shared the same fate— neglect where 
every member of the community is not bound 
by the same law, where to carry into effect a 
necessary regulation arrangement a mandate 
is issued to one class, a request hazards a 
contemptuous reception from the other." 

Major Macdonald clearly was not happy in 
his relations with the European community. 
Whether the fault was pntirely on the side of 
the settlers is a question which seems to be 
open to considerable doubt in the light of the 
records. Macdonald appears to have been of 
the fussy type of autocrats who must always 
be doing something to assert their authority. 
Early in his administrafion he brought obloquy 
upon himself by demanding from the settlers 
the proofs of their right to reside in the settle- 


(From D.lniell's "Views of Prince of Wales Island.") 



ment. One of the community, a Mr. Mason, 
made this reply, which perhaps is responsible 
for the allusion to the contemptuous reception 
of requests in Major Macdonald's report : 

" Sir, I beg leave to inform you, for the 

information of the Governor-General in Council, 
that my authority or permission to reside in 
India is from his Majesty King George the 
Third — God save him ! — also from Superinten- 
dent Francis Light, Esquire, the public faith 
being pledged for that purpose. And as 

to my character, I shall take particular care that 
it be laid before the Governor-General in 

and Commander-in-Chief. One of the earliest 
measures adopted by the new administrator was 
the despatch of Mr. Gaunter, the First Assistant 
at the settlement, to Kedah to negotiate with the 
Sultan for a transfer of territory on the main- 
land. The necessity for this extension of the 
Company's sphere of influence had been ap- 
parent from the beginning, and with the 
growth of the trade of the port the matter had 
become more pressing, owing to the depreda- 
tions of pirates who, established on the Kedah 
coast, were able to raid vessels entering or 
leaving Pinang with practical impunity. Mr. 
Gaunter discharged his mission successfully. 



TI^E feoVERNMl&NT biiliZETTE. 

. - . , .. . ... .I .. : ,„^.^,.„^m m _H -Vj i. i^-- - | -7 ll TT l T l ^ iii i i rt i l| 

4bHA ^lebiK In-'ilf* 90 tr b RtfUS irrOA £ ttrr F , 
PMMpM. St..,r«ar TO GouiKv«..(rT. 



" ittd loataA\ 

! rnnti; of WJr. 

t.l'ctj Uld «pi.Dj .r. OoTWtCP Um i<4l- 

ucs, jnu iu>iii^ rcU(id<> lu i<ill jbkOloie COr.>mf- 

V>'C) IS pitiiiQc, idji ^ ii^mc l4iiiT( p«n>d 01 

■^ Hmc, ibcreiu (pci.i»ctl, iIk vu<1 Un^> ifi^ Hov 

».> Mbtullbe [•-conac^rj, ■..( re^en to itts VudX 

''-BKniMncil. AikI <he utiil >([<4iitc do* 1 

^^■uy be laK( kuJ tbca ja Uialnio '.onTrysiUc 

Vuv be letup. AtKt wUfirjithf tpiriiind priji- 

•ipkofilit FiijiUmiiio.. ,•; iBcjiii i.ptcuibrt, 

ifcu (wtiicbdiiuU, ilwi all M<-ilrcC«A iii^! 

-' bl ?pin CojII ittoowlcJue ihr.i rt'.tl,) l&i bv 

the inicnluCIUD oF tht .iil .udom, lx*u rviJed . 

"-Th*. HdiMTibU -Otc GvnrtMt uid C«')acil c 

Vriocc of Wiilck' l>Lu>J lute ihcralois cnMlMl, 

Jad dw-honby eniU uvl ilb.Ure , ThMi, .Wun iqlI 

a/ltr tbr dij at the dji* of ilia f*n.<U(iuti<S, 

**cr> KtioJ ^klc <lui t^l Ik raBcuiPj rf, an ' 

cmccTniof Limdi ui^ llonuk «a ibit Ulaod, u ' 

, Um opf Mira a<paodu<i nrriiofri whiftbtr ab» 

^ liM( o(««oJiuanali UnJI be utirilf Ti»d, -end oi 

•« ctfc^. ubJui lb* Va»dor m NUhho* oI ib' 

-aad appor Im/oec the J'lJgtr indRij^iiiriie 3^ (be 

Mid lU-ukd, witAtd (iriMQ dsfi Ui-at the Cfr^^i- 

~ ttoo »/ lucb bWl pi i*U, uul wkoovUJ^ toll I ' , 

bMCi*cvtian«/»ui:hBill orSalf, b«l«r( itwult! 

A»dib«uid Ja^fiAdMipitnit k>ull cndi^ 

•Ad { And tbt Rcgiixc «r BilLi oi Silt rt ihr 
UkI L.1^* -imI Hgum, I) hereby dirr^ol «<\' 
m tt%iM.t ■»/ <uch liilli •( bit, ftam irl 
tftcr th« date e( ifaa Pro^ U/ruiloo, uAlau •u>'> 

. ■■dnfifmral ituU be Bmiouitf tmAt rbirron,' 
k* ilM utd Judf* umI Mnliimai Aad «if>i 

;, mp«i la »>1U ai SaU oTUadi ud M<'Om>,. 

' (vUch -biTt bctA nKutsd bafcn the due of ihiJ 
Fratl^mauoB, bui abiLh Fu*« oai been iJre«JT 
■Mutunl «iib Um Ragliin of Um B>1U ol ^U<-, 
«k( HoIdtT ..f ii\ ikKb BilU of S^ iwi yet r^- 

,tBMb*n Aliccn d47«. fraoi ib« dif of the daiV'^ 

Ijui roKUnulija, &«&>« lbs uul RcjpKU, i4>a 

'■ will t • ' 

ADFgRTiSiStKhir. ■ I 
H KO C £ il« bM> Ui<« in iahrai 'h<. 
nuKliudtiM Pibiif , thai he tttiradi tu«i; t 

: Um catuts( M^wh, h Ui Utwv fttabfc;.. 


l>c|[ UtTc td thi. 

<»• i.ior A. ..r ..m. wnwoi witi i)*t7v. 
' l*T Pi»t»« gAl«. on ifw riC4.» a? i«i 
>.ci«d4M r - ■" ■ "■ - - ' 

H k ifwtjidiaf tofwetftilJ, «t(ie»mi^, 
U.1IUI ta MBrtBi, ftin* hb nta. u f^:u«i ^ , 

( i.<-4., a? erf;; 

i U( lend foi i)U( 

nu4ti^ a Kane 

pajtii'f d.n«, ..::".,_ 


futag Hooft! ,...^, ■;■ 
MiwfuN*;,!!,, ,«h, .... 
BrMlinc ia far (ha Wdla. 

Spi. Dtll»^ 


U Rnvur do ZaphiT. a WM. lulbah. 


. 4ii>a. 

, CkracBCl. 

^o(B ttic (bie or ihu Pro..Uiiiatk)fi, (hr tud 
■Mi«r tj Aretivd bst TO rrfitier uy Bills ol 
«/ Lied «*.-UUCT(/, kllMU(Cl cmlbiH 
to IDl •liK' 01 itua PRhUaatida, ' im1«i 
Juiyc ml Mj^ittnia itki.1 tenlAr bjr liu 9t(- 
-uu.'c itK.n -u, lint (ttc uiM ouftil t« bt lo f^ 
]iri«4 '.^11* tbe.H«Banai> tiM Co*ema> ttid 

■ Tt^er^iiit lakatMiHai «M S»» 

Lkin och. tad ncrj M fc nif * 
1 Billa atf Mraf LMiC *^ 

-•J . - ' 

Thn« Sor-kui. dil 

A 5«nsu. ditia, ..... i 

Tbc Livoriic Otintu« t> BUiu lad Bibti, 

Unit, . . . . , - I 
Tmi Ain, Mann aad R4U|MI«, i*i(b *aii- 

uioBi. Cnaicr, .... I 
Tr«U L;f«a<US Sonat*. tU"". 
A r*.it'><f 0*«>ii(« IP Crbclc. 
A Sum (yrinl Ccn.^n«, I>«iMk, • s 

Sia SOMDOM, dim, . • . ^ 

Ttvrir ilinu, dtiio, . . • . ^ 
A r«* Cn.^ Cmrtrto, Vi«iil. . . « 
T iinr Fmuui, diltti, . - . 4( 

Sii Cu.toncu, HiouBtl, - ' - 4i 
Thn* S»o*»4. Lcwu V,a BccilWMm, 4I 

A Cruut Soaau, dnw. . . . li 

A iMWiMlJ»«», fltfri, - . - Jl 

TbMa b'nwl 1«a>w. diiio, . . - 4J 
Kkl Cu»oAU, dttio, . - . 4' 

A Ct»od Quutcti. ditio. ... 4 
Tta IhttM^ »' C««ffcoi Iij, > noric Mm. i 

Thl UlTttAd Ibc Kmv, dll|t>, • • ■ 1 

bl«<« lif Brf|ta ilHR, ija», 
J AMI MUA^h d4u*. , « • , 

* BimitiT'^ » " i>i» f i*». ■ 

b4 hq[d«il T>Ktd*J 1. .u llM IM «f AP(U, « Ml. 

FtrUrV Ijncni 
OUfMt dn IIk Titov. u 4 o'clook, prKlMlr. 

ff*'M«flfc«ii 4iV t.^ucii«d 10 iBWi »( fwif p»wf 

I d'tlocklftt^hCf<-n--.<>lftlklMWo WHldfr. 

VlU3«tb4 894il»npui ttMdUdl iAl«iu«al Mcrr. 

JIU.« a, IM4, AkTiaa Slc>tv..y. 

— ■ pU i i — ;- — ■ i t ' ^ — - 

HArr rojCtALI, 

M^e^y. wvraniii'Ul ytAf* in 

lMU«.pc. do.^^ ~..» t4 

Pwt Wine, ... .>.-.. ^no, lo- 
Brtailv. ..., >•*• ditto, uj 
Eiuopf V»JKi«. ».— P«t S*l. a s« 

R'll lioJIwidlQip, ptrfCAJe,- >■ 

fine Pftlt Ale, r«rdot. f 

Httjnpfltnd TM|a((, 1 4 ocfa in L.fgi, 

i. 1 ■ 1*1 twg, t« 

Firft Clwp Hyft^fTea, per CAajf, 1 jo 
BtngAl Cin««, pp boll, .. .. s 

ciiiftios on, ^ 

M*v be had ttX^oort lAJ Bqd.:'! Rojmf 
Pr!« Thtfc AaaiCb D6lhr« jwr Qoan. 

pecMl, ... 


9 S' 


Bectlf.wr, dHtOk , ^ 

Tin, Perth, djtto, . ... it» 

"Wtto, Lingii^ . .... I J 

Coich, ii'AoJ 5 

Ekpbirit' T^pii, per pecu!, f^j 10 75 

Benjamin, ifltim aj 

Sogar, ja.a,-di(to, i 

Clovci,'dnKv i,IJ 

Nwmrg-, fKTtOOiOOO, IOC J 

Opium, vi^immi, pctrfifll. ,. -^a 

Pah Mawi, PPT necoi, 40 

Sigo, ditto, a ' 

sition did not at the time or for many years 
afterwards appear to be of any great value 
apart from its uses in conducting a campaign 
against pirates. Thus, one writer of the early 
part of the last century, alluding to the transfer, 
says : " The amount of purchase monej', 2,000 
dollars for nearly 150 square miles of country, 
was not great, but it was probably the full 
value." There are many who would be glad 
to get even a decent sized piece of ground in 
Province Wellesley at the present day for the 
price. So much for confident assertions based 
on superficial knowledge. The consideration 
paid for this new territory was a good deal 
more than the 2,000 dollars mentioned by the 
writer. That sum was a mere extra — " the 
little present for the ladies." The real pay- 
ment was an annual subsidy of 10,000 dollars 
"so long as the English shall continue in 
possession of Pulo Pinang and the country on 
the opposite shore." 

In consequence possibly of the greater re- 
sponsibility arising out of this increase of 
territory Pinang, in 1805, was made a" presi- 
dency. The new regime was ushered in with 
befitting pomp on September i8th of that year. 
On the day named the East Indiaman Ganges 
arrived with the first Governor, in the person of 
Mr. Philip Dundas, a brother of the Chief 
Baron of Scotland. With Mr. Dundas were 
three councillors and a staff of 26 British 
officials, whose united salaries, with the 
Governor's and councillors' emoluments, 
amounted to ;£'43,3oo. Notable- in the official 
throng was Raffles, who filled the position of 
Colonial Secretary, and in that capacity gained 
experience which was turned to account in 
Java and later in the virgin administrative field 
of Singapore. The imposing reinforcement 
to the European community which the new 
establishment brought stirred the dry bones of 
social life in the settlement, and Pinang took 
to itself airs and graces which were unknown 
in the days of Light's unassuming rule or even 
in the Macdonald regime. Very early in the 
new administration the settlement equipped 
itself with a newspaper. This journal was first 
known as the Government Gazette. It was an 
official organ only in the sense that the pro- 
prietor, a Mr. Bone, was subsidised from the 
local exchequer and set apart a portion of his 
columns for official announcements. The nevi^s 
columns were largely filled with extracts from 
home newspapers — poetrs', anecdotes, and 
gossip — calculated to interest the exile. Local 
news occupied little space as a rule, but 
occasionally the reporter would give a glimpse 
of some social function of more than ordinary 
interest. Thus, we find in the issue of Satur- 
day, August 16, l8o6, the following : 

(One of the earliest copies of the first newspaper pubhshed in the Straits.) 

When the writer of this letter was afterwards 
asked regarding the nature of the royal au- 
thority which he pleaded, he is said to have 
referred Major Macdonald for particulars to his 
Majesty King George the Third. 

Major Macdonald died in 1799 while away 
from the island. His successor was Sir George 
Leith, who in 1800 assumed the reins of office 
with the exalted title of Lieutenant-Governor 

but not without difficulty. There were impedi- 
ments raised at first to the transfer, but on 
adopting a hint given and making " a little 
present" to the ladies of the Sultan's household, 
he got his treaty. On Monday, July 7, rSoo, 
Sir George Leith took formal possession of the 
new territory, which was named Province 
Wellesley, after the Marquess of Wellesley, the 
then Governor-General of India. The acqui- 

" Tuesday last being the anniversary of the 
birth of H.K.H. the Prince of Wales and of the 
establishment of this settlement, the Prince of 
Wales Island Club held an extraordinary meet- 
ing at Mr. NicoU's hotel, for the purpose of 
commemorating the day. Xn elegant enter- 
tainment was served up by Mr. Nicoll to the 
members and their friends, who continued to 
keep up the festivities of the day with the 
greatest harmony and good humour till an 
early hour the following morning. 

" Amongst the toasts were — 



" H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, and many 
happy returns of the day to him. 

" Prosperity to the island. 

" The King. 

" The Queen and Royal Family. 

" The Navy and Army. 

" The memory of Mr. Light, the founder of 
the settlement. 

" The immortal memory of Lord Nelson. 

" A select few also met to commemorate the 
anniversary of the birth of H.R.H. as Grand 
Patron and Grand Master of Masonry. They 
sat down to a neat dinner provided at the 
house of a brother, and the evening was spent 
with the highest conviviality and good-fellow- 
ship. Among others the subjoined toasts were 
drunk with great applause : 

"H.R.H. George Augustus Frederick, Grand 
Master of Masonry. 

" The Mystic Tie. 

" Virtue, Benevolence, and Peace to all man- 

" King and the Craft. 

" Queen and our sisters. 

" The immortal memory of Lord Nelson. 

" The revered memory of Marquess Corn- 

" All Masons round the globe." 

Mr, Bone's journalistic enterprise continued 
for some time in the sun of official favour, but 
after a year or two the title of the paper was 
changed from the Government Gazette to the 
Prince of Wales Island Gazette. Under this 
designation it prospered after a feeble fashion, 
with several changes in the proprietorship, 
until it fell from official grace and was ex- 
tinguished in circumstances which will be 
hereafter related. 

The elevation of Prince of Wales Island into 
a presidency was due to a somewhat exag- 
gerated view of the value of the settlement 
created by the report which Colonel Wellesley 
had furnished on the return of the Manilla 
expeditionary force to India. In official circles 
both in Calcutta and Leadenhall Street the 
expectation based on the favourable opinions 
expressed here and elsewhere was that Pinang 
would become a great naval and military 
centre and a flourishing commercial emporium. 
This over-sanguine estimate led to many 
blunders in policy, not the least important of 
which was a decision to restore Malacca to the 
Dutch. From this false step the Court of 
Directors was, as we shall see when we come 
to deal with Malacca, saved mainly by the 
action of Raffles, who, after a visit to the 
settlement, penned a powerful despatch, in 
which he set forth with such convincing force 
the arguments for retention that the Court can- 
celled their instructions. It was this despatch 
which mainly brought Raffles to the notice of 
Lord Minto and paved the way to the position 
of intimacy which he occupied in relation to 
that Governor-General when he conducted his 
expedition to Java in i8ll. Pinang, as has 
already been stated in the opening section of 
this work, was the advanced base of this impor- 
tant operation. Over a hundred vessels were 
engaged in the transport of the force, which 
consisted of 5,344 Europeans, 5,777 natives, 
and 839 lascars. The resources of the settle- 
ment were heavily faxed to provide for this 

great force, but on the whole the work was 
successfully accomplished, though there was 
considerable sickness amongst the European 
troops owing to the excessive fondness of the 
men for pineapples, which then as now were 
abundant and cheap. 

In these opening years of the nineteenth 
century Prince of Wales Island witnessed 
many changes in the Government, owing to 
an abnormal mortality amongst the leading 
officials. In March, 1807, Mr. J. H. Oliphant, 
the senior member of Council, died, and the 
next month Mr. Philip Dundas, the Governor, 
expired. The new Governor, Colonel Xorman 
■ Macalister, retired in 1810, and was succeeded 
by the Hon. C. A. Bruce, a brother of the Earl 
of Elgin. Mr, Bruce only lived a few months 
to enjoy the dignity of his high position, his 
death taking place on December 26, 1810, at 
the early age of forty-two. His successor, Mr. 
Seaton, was also removed by death within a 
very short period of his appointment, and 
strangely enough the two following Governors, 
Mr. Wm. Petrie and Colonel Bannerman, did 
not outlive their respective terms of office. In 
less than fourteen years Prince of Wales Island 
had six chief administrators, of whom no fewer 
than five died and were buried on the island. 

Notwithstanding the frequent changes in the 
administration and the confusion they neces- 
sarily caused, the progress of the settlement at 
this period was vminterrupted. The population, 
which in 1791 was 10,310, had risen in 1805 to 
14,000, and in 1812, when Province Wellesley 
was first brought into the reckoning, the return 
showed a total of 26,000 inhabitants for the 
entire administrative area. Ten years later the 
figure for the united territory had risen to 
51,207. Meanwhile, the revenue, though sub- 
stantial, was not adequate to discharge the 
excessively heavy liabilities imposed upon the 
settlement. There were recurring deficits, until 
in the financial 5'ear 1817-18, the excess of 
expenditure over income reached no less a figure 
than 164,000 dollars. A financial committee 
was appointed to investigate matters, but as the 
only satisfactory remedy was a severe cutting 
down of salaries, including those of the mem- 
bers of the committee, naturally little or nothing 
was done. It remained for Lord Wm. Bentinck, 
on the occasion of his historic visit in 1827, to 
use the pruning shears to some effect upon the 
bloated Pinang establishment. The amazing 
thing is that the remedy was so long in being 
applied. But nepotism at that time was rife in 
the Company, and doubtless the numerous well- 
paid official posts in Prince of Wales Island 
were very useful to the dispensers of patronage 
in Leadenhall Street. 

The establishment of an educational system 
dates to this early nineteenth century period 
with which we are dealing. The facts, as set 
forth in a report prepared for the information 
of the Court of Directors in 1829, will be of 
interest. In November, 1815, at the suggestion 
of the Rev. R. S. Hutchins, chaplain of the settle- 
ment, a committee was formed, consisting of 
seven gentlemen, who were entrusted with the 
establishment of a school for the instruction 
of native children in the most useful rudiments 
of education. The school, it was stipulated, 
should be conducted by a superintendent, and 
should be open for the reception of all children 

without preference, except for the most poor 
and friendless. It was further agreed that 
all children should be educated in reading and 
writing English, and in the common rules of 
arithmetic, and, at a proper age, in useful 
mechanical employments. Great care was 
to be taken to avoid offending the religious 
prejudices of any parties, while the Malays, 
Chinese, and Hindustanies were to be in- 
structed in their own languages by appointed 
teachers. Children were to be admitted from 
four to fourteen. The East India Company con- 
tributed 1,500 dollars, to which was added an 
annual grant of 200 dollars, afterwards reduced 
to 100 dollars in pursuance of orders from the 
Court of Directors. The Government of Prince 
of Wales Island also granted a piece of ground 
called Church Square for the erection of two 
schoolhouses, one for boys and the other for 
girls. This ground being required for the 
church erected about this time, another site was 
chosen, upon which the schools were built. In 
July, 1824, the school was reported in a pros- 
perous state, it having on the rolls at that time 
104 boys of different ages, and having sent forth 
several promising youths, six of whom had been 
placed by regular indenture in the pubHc ser- 
vice. In January, 1819, the Rev. H. Medhurst, a 
missionary of the London Missionary Society, 
submitted to Government the plans of a charity 
school for the instruction of Chinese youth in 
the Chinese language by making them ac- 
quainted vi/ith the ancient classical writers of the 
Chinese and connecting therewith the study 
of the Christian catechism. The Government 
granted a monthly allowance of 20 dollars 
for the furtherance of the scheme, to which was 
added a further grant of 10 dollars per month for 
a Malay school. In 1821 a piece of ground for 
the erection of a schoolhouse was also granted 
to the society. In May, 1823, the sum of 400 
dollars towards the erection 01 a missionary 
chapel in Georgetown was also granted by the 
Government. In July, 1819, the Bishop of Cal- 
cutta being at Pinang, a branch was established 
there of the Society for the Promotion of 
Christian Knowledge, to which the Govern- 
ment granted a donation of 200 Spanish dollars. 
In April, 1823, on the representation of Mr. 
A. D. Maingy, the superintendent of Province 
Wellesley, four Malay schools were estab- 
lished there, the Government grant being 32 
dollars per month. In November, 1824, the 
Govei-nment made a grant of 100 dollars for 
the repair of the Roman Catholic church and 30 
dollars for the support of three Roman Catholic 
schools. In 1816 the Government also sanc- 
tioned the grant of a piece of land at Malacca 
to Dr. Milne, on behalf of the London Mission- 
ary Society, for the erection of a mission 
college, and in 1818 the college was built. 
Such were the beginnings of the splendid 
educational system which now permeates the 


Siamese Inva.sion of Kedah— Development 
OF Province Wellesley. 

Troubles arising out of Siamese aggression in 
Kedah greatly retarded the commercial deve- 
lopment of the settlement in 1815 and the 

C "" 



following years. The Sultan who had con- 
cluded the first treaty with the British had 
died, and his son reigned in his stead. Bui 
the idea that the British in accepting Pinang 
had bound themselves to protect Kedah from 
invasion had survived, and in 1810 the new 
Sultan had addressed a powerful appeal to 
Lord Minto as he passed through Pinang 
on his way to Java, imploring him to carry out 
the — to him — essential condition of the original 
contract. The letter, which is given in full in 
Anderson's " Conquest of Quedah and Peral<," 
concludes as follows : 

" I request that the engagements contracted 
for by Mr. Light with my late father may be 
ratified, as my country and I are deficient in 
strength ; the favour of his Majesty the King 
of England extended to me will render his 
name illustrious for justice and beneficence, 
and the grace of his Majesty will fill me with 
gratitude ; under the power and majesty of 
the King I desire to repose in safety from 
the attempts of all my enemies, and that the 
King may be disposed to kindness and favour 
towards me, as if I were his own subject, that 
he will be pleased to issue his commands to 
the Governor of Pinang to afford me aid and 
assistance in my distresses and dangers, and 
cause a regulation to be made by which the two 
countries may have but one interest ; in like 
manner I shall not refuse any aid to Pinang 
consistent with my ability. I further request a 
writing from the King and from my friend, that 
it may remain as an assurance of the protection 
of the King and descend to my successors in the 
government. I place a perfect reliance in the 
favour and aid of my friend in all these 

In his comment on the letter Anderson 
says : " The whole of Mr. light's correspon- 
dence is corroborative of this candid exposition, 
and it was quite inconsistent with reason to 
suppose that Pinang was ceded without some 
very powerful inducements in the way of 
promises by Mr. Light, which, no doubt, in 
his eagerness to obtain the grant, were liberal 
and almost unlimited, and that his inability to 
perform them was the cause of much mental 
suffering to him." It does not appear that any 
answer was given to the Sultan's letter. The 
request for aid at all events was rejected, and 
the Sultan was left to his fate. This was 
somewhat long deferred, but the blow was 
swift and remorseless when it was delivered. 
Equipping a large force, the Siamese in 1821 
appeared in the Kedah river, and landing there, 
commenced to slay and pillage without provo- 
cation or warning. They conducted a ruthless 
warfare for days, leaving behind them wher- 
ever they went a track of wasted country and 
slain and outraged victims. The Sultan with 
difficulty escaped to Province Wellesley and 
thence to Pinang, where he was kindly 
received by Mr. W. E. Phillips, Colonel Ban- 
nerman's successor in the government. He 
was granted an allowance for his maintenance 
and a force of sepoys as a guard. A few days 
after his arrival an insolent demand was made 
by the Raja of Lingore, on behalf of the 
Siamese, for his surrender, and when this was 
refused in emphatic terms, a fleet of one 
hundred war prahus was sent into Pinang 
harbour to take possession of the unfortunate 

Sultan by force in default of his peaceful sur- 
render. The answer to this impudent move 
was the despatch of the gunboat Nautilus to the 
vicinity of the leading war prahu, with orders 
to the Siamese commodore to leave the harbour 
instantly or prepare for action. The hint was 
immediately taken. In a very brief space of 
time every prahu had left. The Sultan chafed 
under the loss of his territory, and the other 
Malay chiefs were not less indignant at the 
wanton aggression committed upon one of their 
number. In a short time the fugitive prince's 
residence became the centre of plots and in- 
trigues for the recapture of the lost territory. 
The local Government, with a lively fear of 
complications with the Siamese before them, 
did their utmost to put a stop to these man- 
oeuvres, but without much success. On April 
28, 1823, an attempt was actually made by a 
force commanded by Tunku Abdullah, the 
eldest son of the Sultan, to oust the Siamese. 
It was completely unsuccessful, and Tunku 
Abdullah was left a prisoner in the Siamese 
hands. A protest was lodged with the British 
against the use of Province Wellesley for the 
equipment of this expedition. The reply made 
by Mr, Phillips to the communication was that 
he could not prevent such inroads without 
imitating Siamese methods, which was out of 
the question. At the same time the Govern- 
ment were seriouslj' alarmed at the anomalous 
state of affairs created by the continued 
residence of the Raja at Pinang, and after 
repeated and ineffectual warnings that his 
efforts to reconquer his territory would not be 
tolerated, they shipped him off to Malacca to 
keep him out of mischief. He closed his life 
in exile, a victim, it is to be feared it must be 
admitted, of an unfulfilled contract. 

An immediate effect of the conquest of 
Kedah by the Siamese was the filliiig of 
Province Wellesley with great bodies of 
refugees. In the early days of the invasion 
thousands of these unfortunates crossed the 
border to escape the diabolical cruelties prac- 
tised by the Siamese upon all who fell into 
their hands. Many of them were in a starving 
condition, and without resources of any kind. 
The Government authorities in the province 
exerted themselves to succour the wretched 
fugitives, and with such success that soon a 
considerable number of them were settled on 
the land in comparative comfort. It was 
fortunate that at this period the local direction 
of affairs was in the capable hands of Mr. 
Maingy, a humane and resourceful man, who 
took a real interest in developing the latent 
resources of the province. Under his super- 
vision roads were made in various directions 
by convicts, and convicts were also employed 
in cutting drains and channels for irrigation of 
paddy fields and in opening arteries of com- 
munication between different rivers. He made 
small advances to each of the cultivators to 
encourage cultivation, and obtained at his own 
expense from Calcutta indigo seeds, together 
with a person competent to teach the process 
of concreting the- dye, in order to establish 
a system of indigo cultivation. Meanwhile, 
with the support and sanction of Govern- 
ment, he opened native schools at Teluk Ayer, 
Tawar, and Prye, for the education of natives. 
The rapid growth of the agricultural interest 

in the province had, somewhat earlier than 
the period at which the events just narrated 
occurred, induced the Government to establish 
a regular system of administration in the main- 
land area. The province in 1820 was divided 
into four distinct districts, each under an 
official, who was provided with a police estab- 
lishment and a small military guard. The 
whole was under a superintendent. These 
and other beneficent measures had their due 
effect, and soon the province, which had 
hitherto been a sort of Malayan Alsatia to 
which all sorts of bad characters resorted, 
became a centre of thriving industry. 

It is to this period we may date the rise 
of the great planting industry which now 
occupies so important a place in the com- 
mercial Hie of the settlements. A communica- 
tion written by Mr. Phillips on September 18, 
1823, reported to the Court of Directors the 
commencement of a S5'stem of coffee planting 
on a large scale. Some passages from this 
document may be quoted, as they throw an 
interesting light on the history of the industry. 
Mr. Phillips stated that he had received a 
letter from Mr. David Brown, " the most exten- 
sjve landliolder, and certainly one of the most 
ii-(telligent and public-spirited Europeans on 
this island, reporting that he has planted 
upwards of 100,000 coffee trees and cleared 
forests to enable him to complete the number 
tp 300,000, and requesting our sanction to his 
extending the cultivation, as the progress of 
the coffee plants hitherto planted by himself 
and others engaged in this speculation holds 
out every prospect of the successful production 
of this article on the island and no doubt on 
the adjacent continent. We shall, of course, 
lose no time in complying with Mr. Brown's 
request." Mr. Phillips went on to submit 
certain considerations as to the expediency of 
improving the agricultural and other resources 
of the settlement. He proceeded : 

" Our climate is temperate and without any 
sudden or great vicissitudes throughout the 
year, and our lands are never subject to such 
parching heats or destructive inundations as 
those of Bengal, whilst our inhabitants enjoy 
the blessings and security of a British system 
of government and law, of the want of which 
at Java the English residents there seem to 
be daily more and more sensible. No appre- 
hensions also against colonisation are enter- 
tained here, and European settlers have always 
been allowed, as appears by our Pre.sident's 
minute of the 15th of August last, to possess as 
much land as they please and to hold it as 
freehold property. Hitherto the want of 
adequate capital and the paucity of enterprising 
individuals have restricted our objects of culti- 
vation to pepper, which has never received 
any encouragement from your Honourable 
Court, and which is one of the most expensive 
articles of culture, and to cloves and nutmegs, 
which private individuals have continued to 
cultivate, notwithstanding all public encour- 
agement was withdrawn in the year 180S, 
and which now at last promise to be bene- 
ficial to them, a very favourable report of 
some samples lately sent to Europe having 
been just received. Mr. Brown and other 
persons, however, in the year 1821, conceiving 
that the soil and climate of our hills were 

The Chinese Mills, Pin-anc. ^. the Great Tkee. 3. Glu«or House and Spice Plantation. 

(From Danjell's "Views of Prince of Wales Island.") 



well adapted for the production of coffee, 
applied to us for permission to clear lands for 
the purpose, and we are happy to acquaint 
your Honourable Court that whatever may 
be the success with which these gentlemen 
may eventually have to congratulate themselves, 
one very decided and important advantage 
has already accrued, to the public from the 
exertions which these public-spirited in- 
dividuals have made to introduce the cultivation 
of coffee on the island. They have found 
employment for hundreds of our new settlers, 
the miserable refugees from Kedah, and opened 
to our poor a prospect of much additional 
employment, particularly for our old Chinese 
settlers. Were your Honourable Court to 
make known generally in England the advan- 
tages of this island in point of climate, situa- 
tion, and other circumstances, and to encourage 
the resort hither of respectable individuals, 
in possession of small capital, desirous of 
emigrating, we are confident that many per- 
sons would see cause for agreeing with us that 
this settlement affords a finer field for agri- 
cultural enterprise, and for obtaining an easy 
and secure livelihood, and ultimately a com- 
fortable competency, than Java, the Cape of 
Good Hope, or Canada." ' 

The coffee e.xperiment unfortunately did not 
prove the success that was anticipated, but 
the exertions of Mr. Brown and other pioneer 
planters were not without their influence in 
the development of the territory under the 
Straits Government. One indirect consequence 
was the institution of a regular system of land 
settlement. The arrangements for land transfer 
had up to this period been in a very confused 
state, owing to the laxity observed in the trans- 
actions. At the outset, to encourage settlers. 
Light had caused it to be known that free 
grants of land would be made to all suitable 
applicants. This pledge had been confirmed 
by Government, and land from time to time 
was taken up. . Changes were subsequently 
introduced without any particular method, so 
that eventually there were no fewer than 
seven different systems of tenure. Xew regu- 
lations were formulated as a consequence of 
the influx of settlers, and the entire system was 
put on a more business-like footing. Meanwhile, 
a complete survey of Pinang and of the 
boundaries of Province Wellesley had been 
made. In a letter of August 24, 1820, to the 
Court of Directors, the Governor, referring 
to this survey, said it was "likely to. prove of 
more interest than any hitherto prepared at 
such enormous expense by successive sur- 
veyors. A document of the kind has long 
been required to regulate the distribution of 
grants of land to the numerous claimants who 
have made application to clear the land on the 
opposite shore. The present state of the coast 
entirely demands our earliest consideration 
with reference to the advantages it may be 
calculated to afford to this island in supplying 
provisions, &c., and also in extending and 
promoting our agricultural interests." 

Simultaneously with the development of the 
planting industry was carried through a series 
of public works with the object of opening 
up the country and improving the means of 
communication between the different parts of 
■ " Straits Settlements Records," No. 183. 

the territory. The most important of these 
enterprises was a road through the hills at 
the back of Georgetown. Colonel Bannerman 
initiated the work in 1818, and under his 
energetic direction the first section was rapidly 
constructed with convict labour. Shortly after 
his death the work was suspended for lack of 
funds, and was not resumed until many years 
later, when it was pushed to completion, greatly 
to the advantage of the island. Colonel Ban- 
nerman was not in some respects a wise ad- 
ministrator, but it is to his lasting credit that 
he was the first to grasp the essential fact that 
the progress of the colony was dependent upon 
the improvement of the means of communica- 
tion, which up to that period had been almost 
entirely neglected. 

The development of Province Wellesley 
went hand in hand with an extension of the 
Company's influence in the adjacent native 
States. Actuated by a fear of Dutch aggression 
in the immediate vicinity of Pinang, Colonel 
Bannerman in iSi8 despatched Mr. W. S. 
Cracroft, an able official, to Perak and Selangor 
to conclude treaties with the rulers of those 
States. His mission was a complete success. 
He brought back with him agreements which 
pledged the two chiefs to maintain ties of 
friendship with the British and not to renew 
obsolete agreements with other Powers which 
might tend to exclude or obstruct the trade of 
British subjects. Subsequently a subsidiary 
arrangement was made with the Raja of 
Selangor by Mr. Anderson, the author of the 
well-knovi'n work on Kedah from which a 
quotation has' been made above, by which 
t'.:e Prince contracted to supply the Company 
with a certain quantity of tin for sale. Under 
the contract a considerable amount of tin was 
brought down to the coast by way of the 
Muda river and there sold. In 1819 the sales 
amounted to 650 bahars or 1,950 piculs. The 
tin was purchased by the commanders of the 
Company's ships General Harris and Warren 
Hastings at the rate of 18 dollars per picul 
(£^2 los. 8d. per ton). After, deducting all 
charges against the import there was a clear 
profit on the transaction of 5,396.41 Spanish 
dollars. Mr. Anderson, who was designated 
the Government Agent for Tin, received one- 
third of the amount. The Government were 
well satisfied with the results of the transac- 
tion. They decided, however, that it would 
not be wise for them to prosecute the tin trade, 
but rather to leave it to individual merchants 
" who would be more particularly concerned 
in its successful prosecution." After this the 
trade was carried on intermittently, but in 
1827 we find in the official records an ex- 
pression of regret that '.' the jealousy and 
aggrandising spirit of the Siamese authorities 
at Kedah has hitherto rendered ineffectual our 
endeavours to prosecute the. tin trade with 

In another direction we have evidence that 
at this juncture in the life of the settlement the 
importance of a widened sphere of influence 
was being recognised. In or about the year 
1819 a Captain John Mein approached the 
Pinang Government with an offer of the island 
of Pangkor, which he said had been given to 
him by the King. In forwarding the com- 
munication to the Court of Directors the 

Governor wrote : " We do not know what 
claim Captain Mein may be able to establish — 
it was evident that the late King of Perak was 
not of sound intellect, and it appears that the 
reputed grant to Captain Mein of this island 
was not made valid by the seals and signa- 
tures of the constitutional authorities of the 
country." ' Captain Mein's ambitious venture 
in islandmongering missed fire, but at a later 
period, when Sir Andrew Clarke concluded the 
Treaty of Pangkor in 1874, the island, with a 
strip of territory on the mainland, was brought 
under British rule, the whole being officially 
designated the Bindings. 

The history of the question subsequent to the 
rejection of Captain Mein's offer may be briefly 
related. On October 18, 1826, a treaty was 
concluded between the Straits Government and 
that of Perak, by which the latter ceded to the 
former " the Pulo Dinding and the islands of 
Pangkor, together with all and every one of the 
islands which belonged of old and until this 
period to the Kings of Perak, because the said 
islands afford a safe abode to the pirates and 
robbers who plunder and molest the traders on 
the coast and inhabitants of the mainland, and 
as the King of Perak has not the means to drive 
those pirates, &c., away." It does not appear 
that the Government ever took formal posses- 
sion of the islands. In the sixties, Colonel Man, 
then Resident Councillor at Pinang, pointed 
out to the local Government that it would be to 
the interest of the settlements to occupy these 
islands, and he was authorised to visit them 
in the Government steamer, with the view of 
ascertaining what steps it was advisable to take. 
Colonel Man's views of the advantages of 
taking possession of the island were fully 
confirmed by his visit, but he found it very 
difficult to ascertain precisely what territoi-y 
had been ceded, and the prospect of an early 
transfer of the settlements to the Crown put a 
stop to all further action except that a grant 
was given to two men to clear 130 acres of 
land in the island known as Pulo Pangkor Laut. 
On Sir Harry Ord's arrival in the Straits, 
Colonel Man brought to his notice the right 
which the British possessed to the islands, and 
urged the advantages which would accrue from 
taking possession of them. At the same time 
he pointed out the difficulty of ascertaining 
exactly what land had been handed over by 
the treaty, and suggested that, as there were 
only two islands standing out in the sea 
opposite the Dinding river and a small one to 
the west of it, the other islands " must be 
sought for in some of the land at the mouth of 
these rivers, which was separated from the 
mainland by the numerous creeks traversing it." 
As a result of this communication Sir Harry 
Ord instructed Colonel Man to enter into 
negotiation with the Laksamana, a high officer 
of the Sultan of Perak, who was then in 
Pinang, with the view to the completion of an 
understanding on this point. Colonel Man 
followed out his instructions, but left for India 
before the negotiations were completed. 
Later they were carried on by Captain Playfair, 
and meanwhile Sir Harry Ord paid a visit to 
the Bindings and convinced himself that the 
cession of 1826 included portions of the land 
at the mouth of the Dindings opposite Pulo 
' Ibid., \o. 182. 



Pangkor, because " the cession would have been 
perfectly useless for the suppression of piracy, 
since on the appearance of our vessels or boats 
off Pulo Pangkor the pirates could at'once have 
taken refuge among these islands, where they 
would have been quite safe from pursuit." 

The Sultan of Perak at this time was not 
inclined to do business on the basis required, 
and as direct orders had come out from 
England that no action involving the occupation 
of disputed territory should be ta}cen without 
specific instructions, the matter was allowed to 
drop for the time being. Sir Andrew Clarke 
had some little difliculty in securing adhesion 
to his proposals, which took the most compre- 
hensive view of the original arrangement. But 
eventually the question was satisfactorily 
adjusted. In this way command was obtained 
of the entrance to the river, a position of 
considerable strategical value and of some 
commercial importance. 

At the same time that Sir Andrew Clarke 
concluded this excellent bargain he arranged a 
useful readjustment of theboundariesin Province 
Wellesley. The matter related to the southern 
boundary, which as originally drawn had been 
found extremely inconvenient for both police 
and revenue purposes. On this point the 
chiefs displayed an accommodating spirit, and 
by arrangement the British territory was 
extended so as to include all the land in the 
watershed of the Krian, the tracing out of the 
boundary being left for a .commission to carry 
out subsequently. 

of this station does not consist in those staples, 
it appeared no more than just that the trade 
which our merchants conduct with Europe 
and China, and which, taken to other ports in 
India, would there be subject to duty, should 
contribute something towards the maintenance 
of this port, of which they make such profitable 
use, and particularly as duties in such cases 
must ultimately be borne by foreigners and 
not by the subjects of British India." After 
a reference to the lightness of the port dues 
the despatch proceeded ; " We earnestly 
wished to impress upon their minds the con- 
viction that, independent of such share of the 
commerce of the Eastern Archipelago as 
might come on to them from Singapore, the 


pin'ang made a free port — government 
Regulation of the Press. 

The occupation of Singapore had a very 
injurious effect upon Pinang trade. Native 
vessels from China, which formerly made 
Pinang their principal port of call, stopped 
short at the new settlement, which, besides 
being more conveniently situated for their 
purposes, had the considerable advantage of 
being absolutely free. The mercantile com- 
munity of Pinang, feeling the pinch acutely, 
petitioned the Government for the extension 
to the settlement of the unrestricted system of 
trade which obtained at the rival port. The 
reception their demand met with was not 
particularly cordial. The Governor, in a de- 
spatch to the Court of Directors on the subject 
on September i8, 1823, made note of " the 
extraordinary circumstance of a body of 
merchants allowing themselves to recommend 
to the Government under the protection of 
which they are enabled to conduct a lucrative 
commerce such a measure as the immediate 
abolition of one of the most important branches 
of its establishment." The Governor stated 
that in his reply to the petition he remarked 
that it was politic and reasonable that every 
possible freedom should be given at Pinang 
to the sale of the staples of continental India 
and to the property of the merchants of the 
other presidencies, as these had already con- 
tributed towards the revenues of those places, 
"but that as a valuable portion of the commerce 

articles of the Pegu country must always 
attract from Europe, China, and India a large 
and profitable commerce to centre and flourish 
here ; and to these more natural branches 
of our trade we particularly invited their 
attention." The despatch ended as follows : 
" We cannot conclude without soliciting your 
Honourable Court's particular consideration of 
the difficulties noticed in our President's 
minute of the 12th July last, which we have 
experienced and still experience in discoun- 
tenancing and allaying everything like jealousy 
between Singapore and this island, and in 
establishing a bond of union and sisterly 
affection between the two settlements. .As 
long as that factory, placed as it is in the 


(From Daniell's "Viewy of Prince of Wales Island.") 

situation of this island with respect to the 
pepper staple of the east and west coasts of 
Sumatra, betul nut of Achin, tin of Junk 
Ceylon and Malayan Peninsula, bird's nest 
of Mergui, and oil, teak-wood, and other 

immediate neighbourhood of this island, is 
governed by a distant authority and different 
system of government, and enjoys an exemp- 
tion from all duties, your Honourable Court 
cannot be surprised that the personal e.xertions 



o£ this Board cannot accomplish the objects 
of our increasing wish and endeavour— the 
putting a stop to the baneful effects of mer- 
cantile jealousy and of those differences which 
utjhappily occurred on the first occupation of 
Singapore." '_ 

The obvious aim of the despatch was not 
to obtain an immunity from imposts for the 
trade of Pinang, hut to secure the abandon- 
meni of the Free Trade system in Singapore. 
The Court of Directors, however, were too 
sensible of the advantages to be derived 
from the maintenance of the oren door at 
Singapore to listen to the specious reasoning 
of the Pinang Government. They confined 
their action to sanctioning a rearrangement of 
port dues at Pinang, by which the shipping 
trade derived some relief. The Pinang mer- 
cantile commiinity found little comfort in the 
concession rilade to them. They were the 
less disposed to take a roseate view of affairs 
as the Company at this critical juncture had 
ihstructed Ctiina ships not to call at Pinang. 
Even the Government were alarmed at the 
situation the order created. They wrote home 
beseeching the Court " not to be so harsh and 
severe to this settlement as to put a stop at 
once to the valuable trade which our merchants 
have conducted by means of our ships with 
Europe and China during the last thirt\'-five 
years." The_ obnoxious order was modified, 
but the mercantile community of Pinang had 
to wait until the year 1827 before they were 
placed on an equal footing with their com- 
petitors in Singapore by the abolition of the 
customs duties at the port. Two years before 
this step was taken Mr. FuUerton, the Governor 
of the united settlements, had written home 
bringing to the notice of the Court the advan- 
tage that might result from the use of a few 
steamboats in the Straits. " Perhaps," he 
said with prophetic vision, " there is no place 
in the world where they would be so useful — 
those of a sihaller class in following pirates, 
and the larger in towing vessels in and out 
of the harbour, and even down the Straits, 
where calms so constantly prevail." With a'l 
his prescience, Mr. Fullerton could not antici- 
pate the time when steamboats would make 
the entire voyage and the sailing ship would 
be almost an' anachronism in the Straits as 
far as the main through trade was concerned. 

The abolition of the customs duties at 
Pinang coincided with the establishment of 
a regular market system. Up to 1.827 the 
privilege of holding a market, together with 
the right of .levying certain duties on grain 
to defray the charges of maintenance, was 
leased out. The last lessee was Mr. David 
Brown, the 'enterprising planter to whom 
reference has already been made. Mr. Brown 
had a ten years' lease dating from May, 1817. 
He died before it terminated, but the market 
was carried o;i by his son. On the expiration 
of the term of the lease the Government, 
" considering the system of taxing grain 
extremely objectionable, especially as the port 
has been relieved of all duties," took measures 
to establish a new market on the principle of 
the Singapore market, where the revenue was 
raised from the rents of the stalls. Mr. 
Brown offered the old market to the Govern- 
■ " Straits Settlements Records," Xo. 183. 

ment for 25,000 dollars ; but the offer was 
declined and 10,000 dollars were sanctioned 
for the construction of a new building. 

In an earlier portion of this historical survey 
there is an account of the launching of a news- 
paper at Pinang and of its happy existence in 
the light of official favour. In 1829 this journal 
— the Peuang Gazette, as it had by this time 
come to be designated — changed its proprietors, 
for reasons not unconnected with official objec- 
tions to the manner in which the paper was 
conducted. Under the new proprietor the 
journal was issued as the Henaiig Register and 
Miscellany, and the opening number seemed to 
indicate that the altered title was to be asso- 
ciated with a more reverential attitude towards 
the great, the wise, and the eminent of the Pinang 
official hierarchy. The editor in his opening 
confession of faith spoke of the restrictions 
upon the press as having been " no doubt 
wisely " introduced, and when taken to task by 
a Singapore scribe for this subserviency, he 
ingenuously argued that the press was really free 
if it liked, but that as it accepted otHcial doles 
the Government naturally demanded their quid 
pro qno. The writer supported his views by 
quoting the remark of " an odd little body at 
Malacca." " What ! " said this individual, " do 
you think we are fools enough to pay these 
gents for picking holes in our Sunday coats ? " 
This free-and-easy theory of the censorship as 
a matter controlled by the subsidy did not find 
favour in exalted quarters, and there was in- 
creasing friction between the newspaper office 
and the secretariat. A crisis was at length 
reached when one day the editor, finding that 
a paragraph had been deleted by the censor, 
had the offending matter printed on a separate 
slip of paper and circulated throughout the 
settlement. Mr. Fullerton was furious at this 
flagrant defiance of authority, and caused a 
letter to be sent to the editor, a Mr. Ballhotchet, 
demanding an explanation. The missive was 
returned unopened. What the next step was 
history does not reveal, but we have a record of 
a hot correspondence between the offending 
journalist and the Secretary to Government, 
terminating in the issue of an edict that the 
proprietor of the paper, a Mr. Mclntyre, who 
was a clerk in the office of the Superintendent 
of Lands, should be dismissed from his office, 
and that Mr. Ballhotchet's licence to reside in 
the settlement should be withdrawn. This 
drastic action was subsequently modified to the 
extent that the expulsion decree in the latter's 
case was withdrawn "in consideration of the 
measure of punishment he has already re- 
ceived," and on the understanding that he 
would have to go if he "misconducted" himself 
again. Almost needless to say, the Penang 
Register and Miscellany did not survive this 
cataclysm. But Pinang was not left without a 
newspaper. In this crisis in its history the 
Government gallantly stepped into the breach, 
and issued a paper of their own under the old 
title of the Government Gazette. The editor of 
the official journal entered upon his duties with 
becoming modesty. In his opening address to 
his readers he opined that " a new paper lies 
under the same disadvantages as a new play — 
there is a danger lest it be new without 
novelty.'' " In common, therefore, with all 
other periodical compilers," he proceeded, "we 

are fully sensible that in offering a work of this 
nature to the public the main reliance for suc- 
cess must be the support we receive from the 
favours of correspondents. This island doubt- 
less contains an abundance of latent talent. Be 
it our humble office to bring these treasures to 
light, and thus offer to the man of business an 
elegant relaxation and to the idler a recreation. 
. We beg, however, thus early to express 
an aversion to satire as being rarely free from 
malice or personality, and in no way according 
with the motto we have assumed." The editor, 
true to his professed mission of offering 
" elegant relaxation to the man of business and 
to the idler recreation," filled the columns of 
the paper with fashionable gossip, quaint stories 
and sentimental poetry. But he was not well 
served by his contributors. One of them sent 
him as an original effusion a poem which had 
previously appeared in Blackwood's Magazine. 
The Singapore C/iromcle, which had no reason 
to love this new venture, took good care to 
point out the plagiarism, and no doubt there 
were some heart-searchings in the official 
editorial sanctum at Pinang. The sands of the 
paper's existence, however, were by that time 
running out. The cost of the production was 
greater than had been anticipated. Moreover, 
the change in the system of government by 
which the seltlements were brought under the 
direct control of the Supreme Government was 
impending, and a new era of freedom for the 
press throughout the dominions of the East 
India Company was dawning. Hence the 
orders went out for the stoppage of the 
Government Gazette, and on July 3, 1830, 
the last number was issued. In a farewell 
note the editor thus addressed his readers : 
"Accident rather than choice led us to assume 
a character which previous experience little 
qualified us to discharge with ability. So cir- 
cumstanced, we cannot ask, like Augustus, to be 
accompanied on our departure with applause, 
but must rest satisfied in the hope that we may 
have afforded temporary amusement to those 
whose severer labours prevented them from 
looking for it elsewhere." So the last vestige 
of official domination of the press fades out, and 
Straits journalism commences that honourable 
and distinguished career which has given it a 
worthy pre-eminence amongst the press of the 
Crown colonies. 


Later Years. 

When the united settlements were brought 
under the government of Bengal in 1830, 
Pinang, which had suffered a severe eclipse 
politically as well as commercially by the rise 
of Singapore, receded still further into the back- 
ground. Its population became stationary or 
nearly so, the increase in the number of 
inhabitants on the island and in Province 
Wellesley between the j-ears 1835 and 1857 
being only from 86,009 to 91,098. On the 
other hand the settlement more than main- 
tained its reputation as a costly appanage of 
the East India Company. In 1835-36, compared 
with an expenditure of Rs. 253,328 was a 
i-evenue of only Rs. 178,930. The position 

i. View from the Convalescent Bungalow. 

1. Mount Erskine and Pulo Ticoose Bay. 3. Suffolk House. 

(From Daniell'.s " Views of Prince of W.iles Island.") 

4. View from STR.iwBEBRy Hill. 



became worse as years went by, for in 1845, 
against tlie smaller revenue of Rs. 176,495 had 
to be set the enormously increased expenditure 
of Rs. 346,659. In the " Report on the Moral 
and Material Progress of India for 1859-60 " 
we find this paragraph relative to Pinang : 
" At this station, owing to their poverty, no 
undertaking of importance has been projected 
by the Commissioners during the past year. 
The funds at their command barely s ifficed to 
enable them to meet the calls made upon them 
for the payment of the police force, to execute 
the ordinary repairs to the roads in Prince of 
Wales Island, with a few slight repairs to those 
in Province Wellesley, to purchase some of the 
materials required for a proposed new market, 
and to make some little progress towards com- 
pleting the works necessary for bringing into 
the town the much-needed supply of water." 
The settlement appeared to have got into a 
backwater from which it did not ever seem 
likely to emerge. 

A circumstance which militated seriously 
against its prosperity was the prevalence of 
piracy about the coast. Piracy in this part of 
the Straits, even more than elsewhere, was the 
staple industry of the coastal inhabitants. The 
native chiefs took an active hand in it. Indeed, 
there was reason to believe at the time that 
more than one of them derived their chief 
source of revenue from the toll levied on 
commerce by the rovers. The Government 
routed these freebooters out from one strong- 
hold after another in and about the island, but 
still the nefarious trade flourished. It derived 
not a little of its strength in later years from 
the anarchical state into which the native 
States of Perak and Selangor lapsed through 
the weakness of the native government, or 
what passed for such. The policy of non- 
interference in native affairs traditionally pur- 
sued by the British in the Straits compelled 
the Pinang officials to look on with arms 
folded while these States, by their disorder, 
were producing a chronic state of lawlessness 
along the coast and in the territory immediately 
bordering on Province Wellesley. At length, 
owing to a particularly menacing development 
of piratical enterprise off the Larut river, 
and outrages in Province Wellesley and the 
Dindings and even in Pinang itself by one of 
the piratical factions, the Government took 
action. They sent a naval force to the chief 
centre of the pirates' enterprise off the coast of 
Perak, and for months the coast was patrolled. 
Owing to the shallow nature of the waters 
hereabouts the operations were most difficult 
and little progress was made. Sir Frank 
Swettenham, who speaks from personal ex- 
perience, gives in " British Malaya " an inter- 
esting description of these pirate hunts in the 
early seventies. " It was," he writes, " im- 
possible to land, for the coast was nothing but 
mangroves and mud, with here and there a 
fishing village, inhabited, no doubt, "by pirates 
or their friends, but with nothing to prove 
their complicity. These mangrove flats were 
traversed in every direction by deep-water 
lagoons, and whenever the pirates were sighted, 

as not infrequently happened, and chase 
was given, their faster boats pulled away 
from their pursuers with the greatest ease, 
and in a few minutes the pirates would be 
lost in a maze of waterways, with nothing to 
indicate which turn they had taken. The 
whole business became somewhat ludicrous 
when native craft were pirated (usually by 
night) under the eyes of the British crews, and 
when their boats got up to the scene of action 
there was not a trace to show what had oc- 
curred or where the pirates had gone. Finally 
the boats of H.M.S. Midge were attacked in 
the estuary of the Larut river, and after a 
longish engagement the pirates were beaten 
off, having seriously wounded two British 
officers. The net result of these excursions 
was that about 50 per cent, of the crews of 
the gun-vessels were invalided, and not a 
single pirate boat or man had been captured." 
Matters drifted on until 1874, when a particu- 
larly impudent case of piracy at the entrance 
of the Jugra river, a tidal creek connecting 
with the Langat river at a point where the 
Sultan of Selangor was then living, led to a 
naval demonstration in which the then Governor 
of the Straits, Sir Andrew Clarke, joined. The 
Sultan was duly impressed with the powerful 
arguments presented to him in the shape of a 
very serviceable portion of the China Squadron, 
and though one of his own sons was implicated, 
gave full authority for the trial of the men 
who had been taken prisoners by the British 
authorities, and on their being subsequently 
condemned to death, sent a kris to be used at 
the execution. This episode had a great moral 
effect in the Straits, but the decline and final ex- 
tinction of piracy is to be traced more to the de- 
velopment of the Federated Malay States under 
British guidance than to coercive measures. 

In another section we shall have occasion to 
describe this great movement in some detail, 
and it is therefore unnecessary to follow here 
the course of events in these States, though 
their influence on Pinang was at times con- 
siderable. It must be noted, however, that the 
rise of the Federation has brought to Pinang a 
great accession of prosperity and restored to it 
something of its old prestige as a port. The 
settled conditions of life and the progressive 
system of government which replaced the old 
anarchy not only stimulated the coast trade 
which centred at Pinang, but they had a vivify- 
ing influence on the territory included within 
the area of the settlement. For a long 
period European capitalists were shy of in- 
vesting their money in Province Wellesley and 
the Dindings. The conditions under which the 
Government were prepared to grant land were 
not sufficiently liberal to tempt them. More- 
over, there was little faith in the future of 
agricultural enterprise, hampered as it then 
was by adverse labour conditions and a 
general state of unrest which seemed to 
afford a precarious tenure to any who might 
be bold enough to sink their money in the 
operations then open to the planter. As 
Perak and Selangor were brought more and 
more under a settled administration and 

immense, far-reaching changes were made by 
the opening up of the country by roads, the 
value of the Pinang territory as a field of 
enterprise was recognised, and the country 
shared in the wonderful prosperity which 
marked the progress of those States in common 
with the whole federated area. The rise of 
rubber helped on the movement, for much 
of the land in Province Wellesley and the 
Dindings is suited to the cultivation of this 
most imp6rtant article of commerce, and capi- 
talists have not been slow to realise the fact. 
Lastly, the introduction of railways has been 
an immense boon to the Pinang administra- 
tive area, and is likely to have even more 
marked results as the system in the peninsula 
is more developed. Although it is only since 
1903 that the line through Province Wellesley 
has been open to traffic, the effects on Pinang 
trade have been remarkable. The municipal 
re venue of the town— a good test of prosperity- 
has risen from 568,695 dollars in 1903 to 819,531 
dollars in 1905, and it is now almost double 
what it Mfras in 1900. The population of the 
island is now more than 100,000, and it is 
increasing at such a rate that, unless some great 
calamity should befall the settlement, it will 
probably be double that figure before another 
quarter of a century has elapsed. 

For a century or more Pinang was largely 
the grave of disappointed expectations, but it 
is now justifying the faith reposed in its future 
by its founder. Indeed, Light in his most 
sanguine moments could not have pictured for 
his settlement a destiny so brilliant as that 
which even now it has achieved. The trans- 
formation from a colony slow, unprogressive, 
and exceedingly costly to a thriving centre of 
commercial life with a buoyant revenue and an 
ever-increasing trade is due largely, if not 
entirely, to the remarkable work of administra- 
tive organisation which has been carried on in 
the Malay Peninsula by a succession of able 
British officials in the past thirty years. But 
it ought never to be forgotten that much of 
that work would have been barely possible if 
there had been no Pinang and no Province 
Wellesley to provide as it were a base for the 
diffusion of British influence. Light, as his 
writings show, clearly recognised in his day 
how important Pinang was, viewed in the 
aspect of a centre from which to dominate the 
Northern Malay States. His representations 
were unheeded by shortsighted bureaucrats in 
India, and only the proverbial British luck in 
such matters prevented the whole of the 
remarkably wealthy territory which is now 
peacefully and happily under British protection 
from passing into foreign hands. The debt 
which the Empire owes to Light is second 
only to that which it readily acknowledges as 
the due of Raffles. In the adjudgment of 
posthumous honours by the arbiter elegatiti- 
ariim of colonial history it can scarcely be 
claimed that the unpretentious sea captain 
and trader of Junk Ceylon has had his due. 
But however ignorant the British public as 
a whole may be of Light's great services, 
Pinang people are not likely to forget them. 





MALACCA, slumberous, dreamy, and 
picturesque, epitomises what there is 
of romance in the Straits Settlements. Singa- 
pore, by right of seniority, has pride of place 
in the history of Malaya. But, as we have 
seen, little or nothing remains of her' ancient 
glories but traditions, none too authentic. 
Malacca, on the other hand, has still to show 
considerable monuments of the successive 
conquerors who have exercised sway within 
her limits. On a hill overlooking the settle- 
ment are the remains of an ancient Portuguese 
church, whose stately towers, with graceful 
finials outlined against the intense blue of a 
tropical sky, tell of that strenuous period in 

sway, and lorded it in their peculiar fashion 
over the inhabitants of the ancient Malay port. 
In the outskirts of the town are not a few old- 
world gardens, charmingly suggestive of an 
age in which the steamboat was unknown, and 
life rippled on in an even, if monotonous, cur- 
rent. Further away, hemming in the houses 
in a sea of tropical vegetation, are plantations 
and orchards, with, as a background, a vista 
of blue-coloured hills. It is a scene typically 
Oriental, and carries with it more than a 
suggestion of that commercial stagnation that 
has left Malacca in a state of suspended anima- 
tion, while its upstart neighbour to the south 
has been progressing at a feverish rate. But 
there are not wanting evidences that Malacca 
is awakening from its long sleep. Agricultural 

last seems to be dawning. It may not be a 
great day, but it will be almost certainly one 
which will contrast very remarkably with any 
that it has previously known in its chequered 

The ancient history of Malacca, like that of 
Singapore, is enveloped in a considerable 
amount of doubt. Practically the only guide on 
the subject is the " Sejara Malayu," or " Malay 
Annals," the work already referred to in the 
section dealing with Singapore. This com- 
pilation is distrusted by most modern Malay 
authorities because of its manifest inaccuracy 
in matters of detail, and it is usually only cited 
by them as a legendary record which, amidst a 
great mass of chaff, may contain a few grains 
of solid fact. The narrative, as has been noted, 


Straits history when the priest and the soldier 
went hand in hand in the building up of Lusi- 
tanian power in the East. Hard by is the old 
Dutch Stadt House, solid and grim-looking, 
recalling the era when the Netherlanders held 

development is touching with its magic wand 
the territory along the coast on each side and in 
the Hinterland, and slowly but surely is making 
its influence felt on the trade of the port. 
Malacca's day as a modern trading centre at 

describes the final conquest of Singapore in 
1252, and the withdrawal of the remnants of 
the Malay population to Malacca, to found 
there a new city.- The founder was Raja 
Secunder (or Iskander Shah, the erstwhile 



chief of Singapore. According to the record, 
this Prince, while out hunting one day, was 
resting under the shade of a tree near the coast 
when one of his dogs roused a moose deer. 
The animal, driven to bay, attaclied the dog 
and forced it into the water. The Raja, de- 
lighted at the incident, said, "This is a fine 
place, where the very pelandooks (moose deer) 
are full of courage. Let us found a city here." 
And the city was founded and called Malacca, 
after the name of the tree under which the 
Prince was resting — the malacca tree [Phyl- 
Janthtis Emblica). Perhaps this explanation 
of the founding of Malacca is as authentic as 
most stories of the origins of ancient cities. It, 
at all events, must serve in the absence of 
reliable historical data. Raja Secunder Shah 
died in 1274, and was succeeded by Raja 
Kechil Besar. In the reign of this potentate 
the Malays are said to have been converted to 
Mahomedanism. The next two centuries wit- 
nessed a great development of the trade of the 
city. The place is represented in 1509 as being 
one of the first cities of the East, and its ruling 
chiefs are reported to have successfully resisted 
many attempts of the Siamese kings to subdue 
them. The Annals give a picturesque descrip- 
tion of Malacca as it existed at this period. 
" From Ayer Leleh, the trickling stream, to the 
entrance of the Bay of Muar, was one uninter- 
rupted market-place. From the Kling town 
likewise to the Bay of Penagar the buildings 
extended along the shore in an uninterrupted 
line. If a person went from Malacca to Jagra 
(Parcelar Hill) there was no occasion to carry 
fire with one, for wherever he stopped he would 
find people's houses." Another vivid descrip- 
tion of Malacca at the beginning of the sixteenth 
century is to be found in an ancient manuscript, 
which is atti-ibuted by the Hon. E. J. Stanley, 
its translator, to Magellan. "This city of 
Malacca," says the writer, " is the richest trad- 
ing port, and possesses the most valuable 
merchandise and most numerous shipping and 
extensive traffic that is known in all the world. 
And it has got such a quantity of gold that the 
great merchants do not estimate their property 
nor reckon otherwise than by bahars of gold, 
which are four quintals each bahar. There are 
merchants among them who will take up singly 
three or four ships laden with very valuable 
goods, and will supply them with cargo from 
their own property. They are very well made 
men, and likewise the women. They are of a 
brown colour, and go bare from the waist up- 
wards, and from that downwards cover them- 
selves with silk and cotton cloths, and they wear 
short jackets half way down the thigh of scarlet 
cloth, and silk, cotton, or brocade stuffs, and 
they are girt with belts and carry daggers in 
their waists, wrought with rich inlaid work : 
these they call querix (kris). And the women 
dress in wraps of silk stuffs, and short skirts 
much adorned with gold and jewellery, and 
have long, beautiful hair. These people have 
many mosques, and when they die they bury 
their bodies. They live in large houses, and 
have gardens and orchards, and pools of water 
outside the city for their recreation. They have 
got many slaves, who are married, with wives 
and children. These slaves live separately, and 
serve them when they have need of them. 
These Moors, who are named Malays, are 

very polished people and gentlemen, musical, 
gallant, and well-proportioned." 

In the section of this work dealing with the 
Federated Malay States the story of Portuguese 
and Dutch ascendancy in the Straits is fully 
related. It is, therefore, only necessary here 
to touch lightly upon this period in Malacca 
history. The town was captured by Albu- 
querque in 1511. For one hundred and 
thirty years it remained in the occupation of 
the Portuguese. Under their government the 
place became an important centre for the 
propagation of the Roman Catholic faith. 
The great Church of Our Lady of the Annun- 
ciation, whose splendid ruins still dominate the 
settlement, was built, and within its walls 
officiated during an eventful period of his life 
St. Francis Xavier, '• the Apostle of the East." 
The proselytising zeal of the Portuguese went 
hand in hand with commercial enteiprise. 
They built up a considerable trade in spices 
and other Eastern products, revitalising in 
new channels a commerce which went back 
to Roman times, if not beyond. Malacca, as 
the chief port in these waters, was the centre 
to which the merchandise was brought for 
shipment. Vessels richly freighted sailed from 
its wharves with fair regularity on the perilous 
voyage round the Cape, carrying with their 
enormously valuable cargoes to Europe an 
impression of the greatness of the Portuguese 
settlement in the Straits of Malacca which, 
perhaps, was scarcely justified by the actual 
facts. That Malacca in the palmy days of the 
Portuguese occupation was a highly flourishing 
city is, however, beyond doubt. A graphic 
picture of it as it existed in the early years of 
the seventeenth century is given by Manuel 
Godinho de Eredia in a manuscript written at 
Goa in 1613 and discovered in quite modern 
times in the Royal Library at Brussels. Within 
the fortifications, which were of great extent, 
were the castle and palace of the Governor, 
the palace of the bishop, the hall of the 
Council of State, and five churches. The walls 
of the fortress were pierced by four gates 
leading to three separate quarters of the town, 
the principal of which was known as Tran- 
quiera. Living in the fortress were three 
hundred married Portuguese with their families. 
Altogether the population of the settlement 
included 7,400 Christians, and there were 4 
religious houses, 14 churches, 2 hospitals, with 
chapels and several hermitages and oratories. 
Eredia writes with enthus.asm of the climate of 
Malacca. " This land,' he says, " is the freshest 
and most agreeable in the world. Its air is 
healthy and vivifying, good for human life 
and health, at once warm and moist. But 
neither the heat nor the moisture is excessive, 
for the heat is tempered by the moist vapours 
arising from the waters, at the same time that 
it counteracts the dampness of the excessive 
rains of all seasons, especially during the 
changes of the moon." 

In the seventeenth century the Dutch and 
English appeared in the Straits to contest the 
practical monopoly of trade which the Portu- 
guese had long enjoyed in these latitudes. 
The English were content to leave the Portu- 
guese to the possession of the territory they 
had long held. The Dutch, more ambitious, 
and more conscious of their strength, deter- 

mined to put an end to Portuguese rivalry 
by the summary process of eviction. In 1642 
they sent an expedition against Malacca, and 
without much difficulty occupied the place- 
They took with them to their new possession 
their characteristic trade exclusiveness, and 
also their stern methods of dealing with the 
natives. The policy had its natural fruits in 
a waning commerce and a diminishing popu- 
lation. Before the end of the seventeenth 
century Malacca had sunk into a position of 
comparative unimportance as a port. But its 
possession brought to the Dutch a certain 
degree of prestige and indirect advantages in 
the facilities it afforded for extending Dutch 
influence in the native States. Had the Nether- 
landish officials grasped the essential features 
of a policy of expansion — or, to give it its most 
modern designation, peaceful penetration — 
they might have anticipated to a considerable 
extent that great work which is now being 
done under British auspices in the Malay 
States. Their political outlook, however, 
was as characteristically narrow as was their 
economic policy, and though they entered 
into relations with some of the native chiefs, 
their diplomacy was directed rather to the 
exclusion of rivals than to practical ends. So 
though the Dutch power was seated for up- 
wards of a century and a half at Malacca, its 
active influence at the end of the period 
extended little beyond the confines of the 
settlement, save in two or three instances 
where interests were created for ulterior 

Valentyn, the well-known Dutch missionary 
whose great work on the East Indies, published 
at Dordrecht and Amsterdam in the year 1726, 
is one of the classics of Indian historical litera- 
ture, gives a minute account of Malacca as it 
was in the middle period of the Dutch occupa- 
tion. The region in which the town is situated, 
he states, was called by Ptolemy and the ancients 
Terra or Regio Aurifera, or the gold-bearing 
country, and Aurea Chersonesus, or the Golden 
Peninsula, the latter name being conferred on 
account of its being joined to the countries of 
Tana-sery (Tenasserim) and Siam by a narrow 
neck of land. 

"The town is 1,800 paces or about a mile in 
circumference, and the sea face is defended by 
a high wall, 600 paces in length. There is also 
a fine stone wall along the banks of the river to 
the north-west, and to the north-east is a stone 
bulwark, called St. Domingo. A wall called 
Taypa runs along the water-side to the port 
St. Jago, and there are several small fortresses 
with two more bulwarks on the south-east side, 
which contribute much to the strength of the 
place. ... In the upper part of the town lies 
the Monastery of St. Paulo ; and those of the 
Miniiebroeders (foster brothers) and of Madre 
de Dios are erected on neighbouring hills, be- 
yond which the land is everywhere low as 
on the sea coast, where the slope is so gradual 
that the mud bank which fronts the shore is 
dry at low water to the distance of two musket 
shots, and so soft and muddy that great diffi- 
culty is experienced in landing. . . There are 
several handsome and spacious streets in the 
town, but unpaved ; and many fine stone 
houses, the greater part of which are built after 
the Portuguese fashion, very high. They are 



arranged in the form of a crescent. There is 
a respectable fortress of great strength^ with 
good walls and bulwarks, and well provided 
with cannon, which, with a good garrison, 
would stand a hard push. Within the fort 

population of two or three hundred mentioned 
as inhabiting the fort was doubtless the Euro- 
pean and Eurasian community. Outside the 
walls there was probably a much larger body 
of native inhabitants. Still, the settlement had 

officer of the British troops was to command 
the fort ; and in consequence of the expenses 
incurred by the King of Great Britain in equip- 
ping the armament, the British garrison was to 
be maintained at the expense of the Dutch, who 

(Fro.n an old print.) 

there are many strong stone houses and regular 
streets, all bearing tokens of the old Portuguese 
times ; and the tower which stands on the hill 
has still a respectable appearance, although it 
is in a great state of dilapidation. This fortress, 
which occupies the hill in the centre of the 
town, is about the size of Delfshaven, and has 
also two gates, with part of the town on a hill, 
and the outer side washed by the sea. It is at 
present the residence of the Governor, the public 
establishment, and of the garrison, which is 
tolerably strong. Two hundred years ago it 
was a mere iishing village, and now it is a 
handsome city. In former times the fort con- 
tained eleven or twelve thousand inhabitants, 
but now there are not more than two or three 
hundred, partly Dutch and partly Portuguese 
and Malays, but the latter reside in mere attap 
huts in the remote corners of the fort. Beyond 
it there are also many handsome houses and 
tidy plantations of coconut and other trees, 
which are occupied chiefly by Malays." 

This account of Valentyn's makes it clear that 
under the Dutch domination Malacca sank into 
a position of comparative insignificance. The 

obviously retrograded considerably — was, in 
fact, only a shadow of what it once was. With 
unimportant variations it continued in this con- 
dition of comparative insignificance until the 
usurpation of Dutch power by Napoleon, at the 
end of the eighteenth century, brought Great 
Britain and Holland into a position of mutual 
hostility, and indirectly led to the British occu- 
pation of several of the Dutch colonies, Malacca 
amongst them. The conquest of the straits 
port was easily accomplished. A small British 
squadron, under the command of Captain Xew- 
come of the Orpheus, appeared off the place in 
November, 1795. As it entered the port " a 
Dutch ship which had run aground fired at the 
Resistance, of forty-four guns, C.iptain Edward 
Pakenham. This was returned and the ship 
struck her colours. The fort also fired a few- 
shots on the troops on their landing, and sur- 
rendered on the opening of our fire : for which 
acts of hostility the settlement, as well as the 
ships in the harbour, were taken possession of 
as the property of the captors, subject to the 
decision of his Britannic Majesty. In the capi- 
tulation it was agreed that the commanding 

were to raise a sum in the settlement for that 
purpose. The British commandant was also 
to have the keys of the garrison and give the 
parole ; all military stores of whatever descrip- 
tion were to be placed under his control ; the 
armed vessels belonging to the Government of 
Malacca to be put likewise under the orders 
of the British Government. The settlements 
of Rhio and Perak, being dependencies of 
Malacca, were ordered to put themselves under 
the protection of the British Government." ■ 
The town was not at the outset actually incor- 
porated in British territory, but was occupied 
for the Prince of Orange, who had been driven 
from his throne by the revolutionaries. The 
fact is made clear by the following general 
order issued by the commandant of the British 
troops on November 17, 1795: "The Dutch 
troops having taken the oath of allegiance 
to his Britannic Majesty, George III., now 
in strict alliance with his Serene Highness, 
William the Fifth, Prince of Orange, the same 
respect and deference is to be paid to the Dutch 
officers and men when on or off duty as is paid 
■ Breuton's " X;ival History," i. 360. 



to the British officers and men, by whom they 
are to be con'sidered and treated on all occasions 
as brother soldiers in one and the same allied 

Malacca was to have been restored to the 
Dutch in 1802 as a result of the conclusion of 
the Peace of Amiens ; but war breaking out 
again in May, 1S03, before the transfer was 
made, and the Dutch falling once more under 
the domination of France, the status of the 
settlement was not changed. The British, 
however, were not at all enamoured of their 
trust. The place imposed a heavy drain upon 
the Company's resources without bringing any 
corresponding advantage. If the territory had 
been absolutely British the responsibility might 
have been faced, but it did not appear to the 
authorities of that day to be worth while to 
continue the expenditure on the port with the 
possibility of its being reoccupied by the Dutch 
on the conclusion of a general peace. In 
the circumstances Lieut. -Colonel Farquhar (not 
to be confused with Major Farquhar, of Singa- 
pore fame), the Governor of Prince of Wales 
Island, recommended that the Europeans and 
the whole of the establishment should be with- 
drawn and the place delivered over to the 
neighbouring native force. The policy was 
fully approved and ordered to be carried into 
effect by the authorities in Europe. Strong 
protests were made against the measure by the 
inhabitants and by the Resident. But the work 
of demolishingthefortifications was put in hand 
immediately in accordance with the instruc- 
tions. The Portuguese had built well, and it 
took the Company's workmen two years, and 
cost the Company ;f4,ooo, to undo the work 
which they had created. When the act of 
vandalism had been completed, an order was 
received from the Supreme Government 
directing the suspension of all further pro- 
ceedings in connection with the evacuation. 
This striking change in policy had been 
brought about by a comm.unication which 
Raffles had made to the superior authority as 
the result of a visit he paid to Malacca in 
September, 1808. Raffles had been profoundly 
impressed by what he had seen and heard 
during his sojourn in the settlement, and he had 
immediately set to work to put on paper a 
statement showing the grave blunder that was 
on the point of being committed. This mono- 
graph is one of the most masterly of his 
numerous public communications. He com- 
menced by stating that having lately had an 
opportunity of noticing the destruction of the 
works at Malacca, and being impressed with a 
conviction that the future prosperity of Prince 
of Wales Island was materially involved in the 
impending fate of the place, he had felt it a 
duty incumbent upon him to to the 
Board the result of his observations. He pro- 
ceeded . 

" The object of the measures taken with 
regard to Malacca appears to have been two- 
fold — to discourage, by the destruction of the 
works, any European Power from setting a 
value on the place or turning it to any account 
in the event of it falling into their hands, and 
to have improved the settlement at Prince of 
Wales Island by tlie transfer of its population 
and trade. These objects were undoubtedly 
highly desirable and of great political impor- 

tance. The former, perhaps, may in some 
degree have been effected by the destruction of 
the works and removal of the ordnance and 
stores to Pinang, but with respect to the latter 
much remains to be done. . 

"The inhabitants resident within the territory 
of Malacca are estimated at 20,000 souls. 
More than three-fourths of the above population 
were born in Malacca, where their families 
have settled for centuries. . . The Malays, a 
class of people not generally valued as subjects, 
are here industrious and valuable members of 
society. . 

•'The inhabitants of Malacca are very dif- 
ferent from what they appear to have been 
considered. Three-fourths of the native popu- 
lation of Prince of Wales Island might with 
little encouragement be induced to remove, 
having no fixed or permanent property ; 
adventurers ready to turn their hands to any 
employment. But the case is very different 
with the native inhabitants of Malacca. . 
The inhabitants are mostly proprietors of 
property or connected with those that are ; 
and those possessing independence from their 
gardens, fishing, and the small trade of 
Malacca. The more respectable, and the 
majority, accustomed to respect an indepen- 
dence from their childhood, will ill brook the 
difficulties of establishing themselves at a new 
settlement. . . The present population must, 
therefore, be considered as attached to the soil, 
and from every appearance it seems they have 
determined to remain by Malacca, let its fate be 
what it will. Into whatever hands it falls it 
cannot be much more reduced than at present, 
and they have a hope that any change must be 
for the better. The offer made by Government 
of paying the passage of such as would embark 
for Pinang was not accepted by a single 
individual. . . . 

" The population of Malacca is, in a great 
degree, independent ; and when it is considered 
that no corresponding benefit can be offered to 
them at Pinang, it cannot be expected that they 
will remove ; admitting even that they are 
indemnified for the loss of their fixed property, 
they would feel but little inclination to adven- 
ture at Pinang, where theymust either purchase 
land and houses from others or undertake the 
clearing of an unhealthy jungle. 

"The natives consider the British faith 
pledged for their protection. When the settle- 
ment fell into the hands of the English they 
were invited to remain ; protection and even 
encouragement were offered them. The latter 
has long ago ceased ; and they are in daily 
expectation of losing the former. For our 
protection they are willing to make great 
sacrifices ; and they pay the heavy duties im- 
posed on them with the cheerfulness of faithful 
and obedient subjects. The revenues of Malacca 
are never in arrear." 

The eyes of the Court of Directors were 
opened by Raffles's communication, and while 
issuing orders for the cancellation of the 
evacuation measures, they thanked him for his 
able report. Thus Raffles's name is identified 
as honourably with Malacca as it is with 
Singapore. While he may be regarded as the 
creator of the latter settlement, he deserves with 
equal justice to be looked upon as the saviour 
of the former at a turning-point in its history. 

In 1811, during the period of the second 
British occupation of Malacca, the settlement 
was used as a base for the expedition to Java 
to which allusion has already been made. 
Lord Minto conducted the expeditionary force 
in person, and it was at Malacca that he had 
the series of conferences with Raffles which 
terminated in the adoption by the Governor- 
General, in defiance of the opinions of other 
authorities, of the route recommended by the 
administrator for the passage of the flotilla. 
Those were lively days for Malacca, and how 
greatly the natives enjoyed the experience is to 
be gathered from the pages of the Hikaiat 
Abdullah. The faithful Abdullah, with the 
minuteness almost of a Pepys, sets down in his 
journal all the incidents of the period. His 
description of Lord Minto's arrival and of his 
landing does infinite credit alike to his observa- 
tion and his descriptive powers. " When I 
saw Lord Minto and how he bore himself," he 
writes, "I was amazed. For I had imagined to 
myself what he would be like, his height, his 
appearance, his dress. Then I thought of the 
Malay proverb which says, ' Fair fame is better 
than a fine appearance,' and I bit my finger. 
To me he appeared to be a man of middle age 
with a spare figure, charming manners, and a 
pleasant countenance. I said to myself that I 
did not think he could lift as much as 30 lbs. 
He wore a dark coat and dark trousers, and 
beyond that there was nothing to remark in his 
dress. And all the great men who were there 
to welcome him stood a long way off ; and not 
one of them dared to offer his hand ; they only 
raised their hats and perspired. Then the 
commander of the soldiers shouted an order, 
and every musket was brought to the salute. 
And as he [Lord Minto] came forward he 
looked to left and right, and bowed to either 
hand, and then walked slowly through the 
guard of honour, while the guns kept thunder- 
ing the salute, and he never ceased raising his 
hand in courteous acknowledgment of saluta- 
tions. I could not see in him the slightest 
trace of self-hauteur or self-importance ; he 
simply bowed without affectation and regarded 
everyone pleasantly. And as he came to a 
great crowd of people they saluted him ; and 
he stopped for a moment and raised his hand, 
to acknowledge the welcome of all these poor 
folk— Chinese, Malays, Tamils, and Eurasians— 
and he smiled as he returned their greeting. 
How the hearts of all God's servants expanded 
with joy atid how the people prayed for 
blessings on Lord Minto when they saw how 
he bore himself, and how well he knew the way 
to win affection ! . . After waiting a moment 
to return the salutations he walked on slowly, 
bowing to the people, until he reached the 
Stadt House and entered it. Then all the great 
people of Malacca, and all the great amongst 
those recently arrived, went to meet him ; and 
I noticed that amongst all those distinguished 
people it was Mr. Raffles who was bold enough 
to approach him ; the others sat a long way 
off. A few moments later everyone who had 
entered and met the Governor-General with- 
drew, and returned to their own quarters. 
Then the troops fired three volleys in succession 
and they also returned to their camp." There 
is a naivete about Abdullah's description which 
gives it a peculiar charm ; and it has its value 



as a piece of self-revelation on the part of a 
Malay in the days when Western ideas had not 
penetrated very deeply in Malaya. A further 
memento of Lord Minto's visit is a portrait of 
the Governor-General which hangs in the 
Stadt House at Mal.icca. The figure of the 
Governor-General is painted against a back- 
ground representing Malacca, and there is 
little doubt that the work was executed shortly 
after the period of the Java Expedition. 

Malacca remained in the somewhat anoma- 
lous position of a British settlement governed 
by Dutch law, administered by a Dutch 
judiciary, until the final overthrow of Napoleon 
paved the way for a general adjustment of the 
international position. The events of that 
memorable period followed each other so 
rapidly that the first intelligence received by 
the Pinang Government of the close of the 
war was the announcejuent of the conclusion 
of the Treaty of Vienna, which iiih'r alia 
provided for the retrocession of Malacca. A 
feeling akin to consternation was aroused at 
the action of the home authorities in acquiescing 
in the rendition of the settlement, the value of 
which had become more and more evident 
with the revival of Dutch influence and pre- 
tensions in the Straits. Earnest remonstrances 
were immediately transm.itted to the authorities 
in Europe by the Pinang Government against 
the measure. Major Farquhar, the Resident, 
also addressed to the Court of Directors a 
strong plea for the reconsideration of the 
question. This official's representation took 
the form of a lengthy paper, in which the 
position and resources of Malacca were de- 
scribed with a knowledge born of long residence 
in the settlement and a thorough acquaintance 
with the country about it. It is probable that 
the production was inspired by Raffles's earlier 
effort in the same line, which, as we have 
noted, had such striking results. However that 
may be, the document is of exceptional interest 
from the light it throws on the position of 
Malacca at that period, and the prescient 
wisdom displayed in regard to its future 
prospects in relation to the Malay States. As 
the compilation has been overlooked to a large 
extent by writers on Malaya, the more im- 
portant portions of it may profitably be re- 
produced here. 

Major Farquhar, at the outset of his com- 
munication, remarked that, having regard to the 
situation of Malacca, commanding as it did the 
only direct passage to China, they could not 
but be very forcibly impressed with the 
importance of the place alike from a political 
and commercial point of view, as well as with 
the many evils which would inevitably arise 
should it again fall into the hands of a foreign 
Power. He proceeded to point out that when 
Malacca was before in the hands of the Dutch 
they were able to seriously harass and hamper 
the British trade which centred at Pinang by 
bringing into Malacca every trading prahu 
passing up or down the straits. 

" A doubt therefore cannot exist," he wrote, 
" that should the settlement of Malacca be 
restored to the Dutch, their former influence 
will be speedily re-estabhshed, and probably 
on a more extended basis than ever ; so as to 
cause the total ruin of that advantageous and 
lucrative commerce which at present is carried 

on by British subjects through these straits. 
Independent (sic) of the above considerations 
Malacca possesses many other local advan- 
tages which, under a liberal system of govern- 
ment, might in my opinion render it a most 
valuable colony. Nature has been profusely 
bountiful to the Malay Peninsula in bestowing 
on it a climate the most agreeable and salu- 
brious, a soil luxuriantly fertile, watered by 
numerous rivers, and the face of the country 
diversified with hills and valleys, mountains 
and plains, the whole forming the most 
beautiful scenery that it is possible for the 
imagination to figure to itself ; in contem- 
plating which we have only to lament that a 
more enterprising and industrious race of 
inhabitants than the Malays should not have 
possessed this delightful region, and we cannot 
but reflect with pain and regret on the narrow 
and sordid policy of the European Powers (who 

" There is a great quantity of the richest kinds 
of soil in the vicinity of Malacca adapted to 
the growth of everything common to tropical 
climates. The sugar-cane is equal to any pro- 
duced in Java, and far exceeds in size that of Ben- 
gal. Coffee, cotton, chocolate, indigo, pepper, 
and spices have all been tried and found to thrive 
remarkably well ; but as yet no cultivation to 
any extent of those articles has taken place, 
principally owing to the uncertainty of the 
English retaining permanent possession of 
Malacca, and to the afiprehensions the native 
inhabitants entertain of being obliged to desist 
from every species of agricultural pursuit 
should the settlement revert to the Dutch. . . . 

" The mineral productions of the Malay 
peninsula might likewise become a source of 
considerable emolument if thoroughly explored. 
Indeed, I have little doubt that the gold and tin 
mines in the vicinity of Malacca, if scientifically 


have had establishments here since the fifteenth 
century), by which every attempt at general 
cultivation and improvement was discouraged ; 
and to such a length did the Dutch carry their 
restrictions that previous to the capture of 
Malacca by the English in 1795, no grain 
of any kind was permitted to be raised within 
the limits of the Malacca territory, thus ren- 
dering the whole population dependent on the 
island of Java for all their supplies. Under 
such a government it is not surprising that 
the country should have continued in a state of 
primitive nature ; but no sooner were these 
restrictions taken off by the English and full 
liberty given to every species of agriculture 
than industry began to show itself very rapidly, 
notwithstanding the natural indolence of the 
Malay inhabitants, and the Malacca district 
now produces nearly sufficient grain for the 
consumption of the settlement, and v\'ith proper 
encouragement would, I have no doubt, in the 
course of a few years, yield a considerable 
quantity for exportation. . 

worked and placed under proper management, 
would prove of very great value. At present 
they are very partially worked, and with so 
little skill that no comparative advantage can 
be derived from them. The Malays and 
Chinese who are employed at the mines con- 
tent themselves with digging open pits to the 
depth of from 6 to 10 feet, seldom going 
beyond that, and removing from place to place 
as the veins near the surface become exhausted. 
The tin mines are all within a circuit of 
35 miles of Malacca (with the exception of those 
of Perak), and produce at present about 4,000 
piculs of tin, which will yield nearly 80,000 
Spanish dollars. But this quantity, were the 
mines under proper management, might be 
easily quadrupled. Indeed, I have not the 
least doubt that the mines of Malacca would 
very soon be brought to rival those of Banca." 

Farquhar went on to suggest that it would be 
easy to make arrangements with the native 
chiefs for the working of the mines, and this 
thought led him to a general dissertation on the 



advantages of extending British influence in 
the peninsula. Witli shrewd judgment he 
remarked : " It becomes an object of the highest 
interest that some means should be adopted for 
establishing, under British influence, a regular 
system of government throughout the Malaj' 
Peninsula, calculated to rescue this delightful 
region from the tyranny and ignorance which 
at present so completely shuts up every avenue 
of improvement." 

The paper closed with this glowing descrip- 
tion of the climatic advantages of Malacca : 

" Malacca enjoys regular land and sea 
breezes, but during the height of the XE. 
monsoon the sea breezes are very faint, and 
the winds from the land at this season frequently 
blow with considerable force and little varia- 
tion for several weeks together. They are not, 
however, at all of a hot and parching nature 
like those on the continent of India, owing, no 
doubt, to their passing over a considerable tract 
of country so thickly clothed with woods that 
the earth never becomes heated to any great 
degree. The mornings at this season are par- 
ticularly agreeable, the weather being quite 
serene and the air sharp and bracing. Very 
little variation takes place in the barometer at 
Malacca. . . The salubrity of the climate may 
be pretty fairly judged of by the number of 
casualties that have occurred in the garrison for 
the last seven years, which on a correct average 
taken from the medical registers of those men 
who have died from disease contracted here 
does not amount to quite two in the hundred, a 
smaller proportion than will, I fancj', be found 
in almost any other part of India." 

Such was the report which Farquhar sent 
home. It was reinforced by petitions from the 
mercantile community, all representing in the 
strongest and most earnest language the grave 
impolicy of allowing the settlement to get back 
into Dutch hands. The fiat, however, had gone 
forth for the transfer, and however much the 
home authorities might have liked to retrace 
their steps they could not do so without a viola- 
tion of treaty obligations. Events in Europe 
prevented the immediate fulfilment of the Treaty 
of Vienna. It was not, in fact, until Xovember 
2, 1816, that the Government order was issued 
for the restoration of Malacca. Even then the 
Dutch did not appear to be at all anxious to 
enter into possession. Thej' were more con- 
cerned with consolidating their position in other 
parts of the Straits. Riau was occupied, and 
lodgments were effected at various advan- 
tageous positions on the coast of Sumatra. 
Malacca, stripped of its fortifications and bereft 
of the most profitable part of its trade by Pinang, 
they appeared to consider was of minor im- 
portance to these positions which could be 
used with effect for the execution of the long- 
cherished design of securing a monopoly of the 
Straits trade for the Dutch. That " profligate 
speculation," to adopt Lord Hastings's phrase, 
as we know, was defeated, thanks to Raffles's 
foresight and energy* ; but it can be readily 
understood that in the early stages of the plot it 
seemed good policy to keep the British hanging 
on as caretakers at Malacca while the Dutch 
forces were careering about the Straits picking 
up unconsidered trifles of territory in good 
strategic positions. 

It was not until the year 1818 was well 

advanced that the Dutch found time to turn 
their attention to Malacca. After some pre- 
liminary negotiations the settlement was handed 
over to the Dutch Commissioners on September 
2 1st of that year. An interesting ceremony 
marked the transfer. At sunrise the British 
colours were hoisted, and at seven o'clock all 
the British troops in garrison marched to St. 
Paul's Hill, where they were joined by the 
Dutch contingent. The British Resident (Major 
Farquhar) and the Dutch Commissioners, with 
their respective staffs, proceeded in procession 
to the vicinity of the flag-staff, and on arrival 
were received by the united troops with pre- 
sented arms. The British proclamation an- 
nouncing the retrocession was then read by the 
Resident, and it was subsequently repeated in 
the Malay and Chinese languages. Afterwards 
the Master Attendant began slowly to lower the 
Union flag, the battery meanwhile firing a 
royal salute and ^the troops presenting arms. 
Simultaneously the Dutch men-of-war in the 
harbour thundered out a royal salute. After- 
wards the British troops took up a new position 
on the left of the Dutch line and the Dutch pro- 
clamation was read and explained by the Com- 
missioners. The Dutch colours were then 
hoisted full mast under a royal salute from the 
British battery and from the Dutch squadron. 
The ceremony of transfer was completed by 
the Dutch troops relieving the British garrison 

During the progress of the arrangements for 
the surrender of the town. Major Farquhar 
advanced a claim on behalf of the British for 
the reimbursement of the expenses incurred 
over and above the revenue since the capture 
of the place in 1795. He did so on the ground 
"that the laws of Holland as they existed under 
his Serene Highness previous to the revolution 
in 1794-95 have been the only civil laws in force 
in this settlement, and that all the decrees of 
the Courts of Justice have continued to be 
passed in the name of their High Mightinesses 
the States General, even subsequent to the 
Peace of Amiens, and further that none of the 
former Dutch civil or military servants were re- 
tained but such as professed a strict adherence 
to the cause of the Stadtholders." The Dutch 
Commissioners declined emphatically to enter- 
tain the claim. They agreed, however, to ac- 
cept responsibility for the additional charges 
incurred from the date of the conclusion of the 
treaty to the period when the transfer was 
made, less the costs of the time covered by 
Major Farquhar's absence on mission duty. 

One of the last public appearances of Far- 
quhar at Malacca was at the laying of the 
foundation-stone of the Anglo-Chinese College 
on November 11, 1818. The retiring British 
Resident discharged the principal part in this 
ceremony, but the Dutch Governor, Thyssen, 
attended with many of his leading colleagues, 
and so gave the sanction of the new regime to 
an enterprise which, though entirely British in 
its inception, was of a character to appeal to 
broad sympathies. The founder of the college 
was the Rev. Dr. Morrison, a well-known 
missionary associated with the London Mission- 
ary Society. Dr. Morrison's idea was to spread 
a knowledge of Christianity amongst the better 
class Chinese, and at the same time to provide 
for the reciprocal study of European and 

Chinese literature. He gave out of his own 
means a sum of one thousand pounds towards 
the cost of the building, and in addition pro- 
vided an endowment of one hundred pounds 
annually for the succeeding five years. At a 
later period, when the British resumed the 
occupation of Malacca, the Company granted an 
allowance of twelve hundred Spanish dollars 
per annum until 1830, when the grant was 
discontinued. Attached to the college was an 
English, Chinese and Malay Press, from which 
in process of time issued several interesting 
books. On the occupation of Singapore an 
effort was made by Raffles to secure the trans- 
fer of the college to that settlement and its 
amalgamation with the Raffles Institute. But 
the proposal met with much opposition and 
eventually had to be reluctantly abandoned. 

The second period of Dutch dominion thus 
inaugurated was brief. When the time came 
in 1824 to arrange a general settlement of 
matters in dispute with the Dutch, the agree- 
ment was come to for the British to cede to 
the Netherlands Government Bencoolen in 
Sumatra in exchange for Malacca and the small 
. Dutch establishments on the continent of 
India. It has often been thought that in this 
transaction we have exemplification of the truth 
of Canning's lines which affirm that — 

" In matters of commerce, the fault of the Dutch 
Is offering too little and asking too much." 

But though if we had remained in Sumatra we 
might unquestionably have developed a great 
trade with that island, it is extremely doubtful 
whether we could ever have secured advan- 
tages equal to those which have accrued from 
the possession of Malacca. With Malacca in 
Dutch hands the spread of our influence 
throughout the Malaj' peninsula would have 
been impossible. Our line of communications 
would have been broken, and a wedge would 
have been driven into our sphere of action, to 
the effectual crippling of our efforts. As things 
are, we have an absolutely clear field, and what 
that means is being increasingly demonstrated 
in the marvellous development of the Malay 
States under British auspices. 

On the receipt by the Pinang Government 
of a despatch from the Supreme Government 
announcing the conclusion of the treaty with 
the Dutch, Mr. W. S. Cracroft, senior civil 
servant, was in March, 1825, sent with a 
garrison of 100 men to reoccupy the fort. 
Formal possession was taken on April gth. A 
question was raised at the time as to whether the 
" dependencies of Malacca " included Riau. It 
was referred home, and finally answered in a 
negative sense. As far as Malacca itself was 
concerned, there was little in the situation 
which the British found on resuming the con- 
trol of the settlement to excite enthusiasm. In 
the first place, the trade had been reduced 
almost to vanishing point by the competition of 
Singapore, whose superior conveniences as a 
port attracted to it nearly the whole of the 
commerce which formerly centred at Malacca. 
The disastrous character of the rivalry is strik- 
ingly illustrated in the revenue returns of the 
settlement. In 1815 the export and import 
duties and harbour fees amounted to 50,591 
Spanish dollars. In 1821, two years after the 
establishment of Singapore, the receipts fell to 



23,282 Spanish dollars, and in 1823 there was a 
further fall to 7,217 Spanish dollars. Practically, 
therefore, Malacca had been wiped out as a 
port for external trade. This commercial de- 
terioration was not the only difficulty which 
the new administration had to face. On the 
reoccupation it was found that scarcely a foot 
of land, with the exception of a few spots near 
the town, belonged to the Government. The 
proprietary rights in the soil had been given 
away in grants to various individuals by the 
Dutch, with the mere reservation of the right 
to impose a land tax on the whole. Mr. Fuller- 
ton caused a careful inquiry to be instituted 
into the whole system. This took a consider- 
able time and involved much research. The 
system in vogue was found to be based upon 
the ancient Malay custom which constituted the 
sovereign the lord of the soil and gave him 
one-tenth of the produce. Under this system 
a landowner might hand down the trees he 
planted and the house he built, but he could 
not alienate the land. It followed that the 
individuals called proprietors, mostly Dutch 
colonists resident at Malacca, were not such in 
reality, but merely persons to whom the Gov- 
ernment had granted out its tenth, and who 
had no other claim upon the produce, nor upon 
the occupiers, not founded in abuse. The occu- 
piers, in fact, were, under Government, the real 
proprietors of the soil. Another point brought 
out by the investigation was that a class called 
Penghulus, who occupied a dominant position 
in the managenjent of Malacca landed property, 
were merely the agents of Government or of 
the person called the proprietor, for collecting 
the tenth share and performing certain duties 
of the nature of police attached by custom to 
the proprietorship. In order to revive the pro- 
prietary rights of Government, Mr. FuUerton 
elected to purchase the vested interests of the 
so-called proprietors for a fixed annual pay- 
ment about equal to the existing annual receipts 
from the land, and to employ the Penghulus to 
collect the rents on behalf of Government. 
This arrangement was finally carried out with 
the sanction of the Court of Directors at a cost 
to the Government of Rs. 16,270 annually. For 
many years the Government lost heavily over 
the transaction, the receipts falling a good 
many thousands short of the fixed annual dis- 
bursement. There can be no question, how- 
ever, that the resumption of the Government 
proprietorship of the soil was a statesmanlilie 
measure from which much subsequent good 
was derived. 

The alarming decline in the trade of the 
settlement created a feeling akin to despair in 
the minds of the inhabitants. In 1829 a memo- 
rial was forwarded by them to Pinang, drawing 
attention to the position of affairs and suggest- 
ing various measures for the recovery of the 
settlement's lost prosperity. In a communica- 
tion in reply to the memorial, Mr. FuUerton 
remarked that the memorialists had overlooked 
the principal reason for the decay of Malacca, 
which was the foundation of Pinang at one end 
of the straits and Singapore at the other. 
Henceforth, he said, the prosperity of Malacca 
must depend more upon agricultural than com- 
mercial resources. Seeing that she was as far 
superior to the other two settlements in the 
former respect as she was inferior to them in 

the latter, there was no reason to doubt, he 
thought, that under a wise government Malacca 
might regain nearly as great a degree of pros- 
perity as she formerly enjoyed.' 

If the mercantile community had cause to 
complain of the hardness of the times, the East 
India Company had not less reason to feel 
anxious about the position at Malacca. The 
settlement was a steady and increasing drain 
upon the Company's resources. The following 
figures illustrate the position as it was a few 
years after the resumption of the territory : 








.. 48,800 



1832-33 ■ 

.. 69,800 




.. 60,700 



It may be acknowledged that not a little of 
the excessive expenditure was for objects which 
were not properly debitable to Malacca — con- 

ordinate officials fifty dollars per annum, pro- 
vided that thev would transfer their lands to 
Government in order that the tenth might be 
levied upon them in the same way as at 
Malacca. The proposals met with a flat re- 
fusal, and Mr. Lewis had to return to head- 
quarters. Another attempt was made in the 
following year to bring about the desired 
result. On that occasion Mr. Church, the 
Deputy Resident, was despatched with instruc- 
tions to inform the Penghulu that Naning was 
an integral part of Malacca territory, and that 
it was intended by Government to subject it to 
the general regulations affecting the rest of the 
Malacca territor>-. He was further instructed 
to take a census and to make it known that all 
offenders, except in trivial matters, would in 
future be sent down to Malacca for trial. As a 
solatium for the loss of their power, iSIr. Church 
was instructed to offer the Penghulu and the 
other functionaries a pension. The pill, though 


victs, military, &c. Still, when every allowance 
is made for the influence of the tendency of the 
Indian authorities to place liabilities in the 
Straits, we are faced with a position which 
leaves us in wonder at the patience of the East 
India Company in maintaining the settlement. 
They were probably much in the historic posi- 
tion of Micawber — waiting for something to 
turn up. Something did turn up eventually, but 
not until long after the Company's rule had 
faded out. 

When Mr. FuUerton had settled the land 
system of Malacca proper,as has been narrated, 
it occurred to him that it would be well also to 
take in hand the adjustment of the land ques- 
tion in the neighbouring territory of Naning. 
.■Accordingly, in 1828 Mr. Lewis, the Assistant 
Resident, was despatched to Tabu, the capital of 
Naning, to interview the chief with a view to 
the introduction of the system. He was em- 
powered to offer the Penghulu the sum of six 
hundred Spanish dollars, and each of the sub- 
' " Straits Settlements Records," Xo. 195. 

thus gilded, was not more palatable than it 
had proved before. Mr. Church was allowed 
to take the census, but his mission in other 
respects was a failure. These evidences of an 
obstinate disposition to disregard the Com- 
pany's authority led Mr. FuUerton to take 
measures for the despatch of an expedition to 
bring the recalcitrant chief to his bearings. 
Pending a reference of the matter to the 
Supreme Government, no forward movement 
was made, but on the forcible seizure and de- 
tention of a man within the Malacca boundar\- 
by order of the Penghulu, a proclamation wa> 
issued declaring that Abdu Syed had forfeited 
all claims, and was henceforth no longer Peng- 
hulu of Naning. 

At length the sanction of the Supreme 
Government to the expedition was received, 
and on .\ugust 6, 1831, the expeditionary 
force commenced its march. It consisted 
of 150 rank and file of the 29th Madras 
Native Infantry, two 6-pounders, and a 
small detaU of native artUlery, the whole 



being under the command of Captain Wyllie, 
Madras Native Infantry. On the gth the de- 
tachment reached Wullikey, a village about 
17 miles from Malacca and about five from 
Tabu, the residence of the Penghulu. Owing 
to the non-receipt of supplies and the unex- 
pectedly severe resistance offered by the 
Malays, Captain Wyllie deemed it best to 
retreat. The force withdrew to Sungie-Pattye, 
v/here it remained until August 24th, when 
orders were received for its return to Malacca. 
The heavy baggage was destroyed and the re- 
treat commenced the same evening. On the 
following morning the somewhat demoralised 
force reached Malacca after a little fighting and 
the loss of its two guns, which were abandoned 
en route. This rather discreditable business 
created a considerable sensation at the time in 
Malacca, and there was some apprehension for 
the safety of the town, which, until the arrival 
of reinforcements from Madras, was almost 
at the mercy of the Malays. However, the 
Penghulu was not enterprising. If he had any 
disposition to trouble it was probably checked 
by the fact that the British authorities had con- 
cluded a treaty of alliance and friendship with 
the Rembau chiefs, who had assisted him in 
his rebellion. In January, 1832, a new ex- 
peditionary force was organised at Malacca 
from troops which had arrived from Madras in 
answer to the summons for aid. It consisted 
of the 5th Madras N.I.,a company of rifles, two 
companies of sappers and miners, and a detail 
of European and native artillery. The troops, 
which were under the command of Lieutenant- 
Colonel Herbert, commenced their march early 
in March. They encountered considerable re- 
sistance near Alor Gajeh, and were compelled 
for a time to act on the defensive. Reinforce- 
ments, consisting mainly of the 46th Regiment, 
were ultimately received from Pinang, and on 
May 2ist offensive operations were resumed 
with such success that Tabu fell on the isth 
June. The Penghulu fled, and his property 
and lands were confiscated to Government. 
In 1834 he surrendered unconditionally to 
the Government at Malacca, and was per- 
mitted to reside in the town and draw a 
pension of thirty rupees from the Government 
treasury. Newbold described him as " a hale, 
stout man, apparently about fifty years of age, 
of a shrewd and observant disposition, though 
strongly imbued with the superstitions of his 
tribe." " His miraculous power in the cure of 
diseases," Newbold added, "is still as firmly 
believed as that of certain kings of England 
was at no very remote period, and his house is 
the daily resort of the health-seeking followers 
of Mahomed, Fob, Brahma, and Buddha." 

The operations from first to last cost the 
Company no less than ten lakhs of rupees. For 
some time after the expedition it was deemed 
necessary to maintain a body of Madras troops 
in the territory ; but the native population soon 
settled down, and within a few years there was 
no more contented class in the Company's 

Naning comes to us in direct descent from 
the Portuguese, who took possession of it shortly 
after the capture of Malacca by Albuquerque 
in 1511. Previously it had formed an integral 
part of the dominions of Mahomed Shah II., 
Sultan of Malacca, who, on the fall of his 

capital, tied to Muar, thence to Pahang, and 
finally to Johore, where he established a king- 
dom. Naning remained nominally under the 
Portuguese until 1641-42, when, with Malacca, 
it fell into the hands of the Dutch. Valentyn 
asserts that the treaty between the Dutch and 
the Sultan ol Johore was that the town should 
be given up to the Dutch and the land to the 
Sultan of Johore, the Dutch reserving only so 
much territory about the town as was required. 
This reservation was so liberally construed by 
the Netherlanders that they ultimately brought 
under the control an area of nearly 50 miles 
by 30, including the whole of Naning up to the 
frontiers of Rembau and Johore. This line 
at a later period was extended beyond Bukit 
Bruang and Ramoan China to the left bank of 
the Linggi river, which it now comprehends. 

One of the questions which arose out of the 
reoccupation of Malacca was the status of the 
slaves resident in the settlement. In British 
dominions at this time, as the poet Cowper had 
proudly proclaimed a few years before, slaves 
could not breathe — 

" If their lungs 
Receive our air, that moment they are free ; 
They touch our country, and their shackles fall." 

But poetry and law are not always in harmony, 
and they were not so in this case. At all 
events, there was sufficient doubt as to the 
application of the famou^: Emancipation statutes 
to give the authorities a considerable amount 
of trouble. The most divergent views were 
expressed locally on the subject. The main 
question was whether slaves duly registered and 
recognised as such under the previous Dutch 
Government could be considered in a state 
of slavery on the transfer of the settlement to 
the British. The inhabitants petitioned the 
Pinang authorities to accept the state of bond- 
age on the ground of the confusion and loss 
which would be caused by emancipation. Mr. 
FuUerton, the Governor, in reply, called atten- 
tion to the importance of putting a stop to 
slavery within a certain period. Thereupon 
the inhabitants met and passed a resolution 
agreeing that slavery should cease at the ex- 
piration of the year 1842. Meanwhile the 
matter had been referred to Calcutta for legal 
consideration, and in due course the opinion of 
the law officers was forthcoming. It was held 
that owing to the peculiar circumstances under 
which Malacca had become a British settle- 
ment the state of slavery must of necessity be 
recognised wherever proof could be brought 
forward of the parties having been in that state 
under the Netherlandish Government. Eventu- 
ally the question was settled on the basis of the 
compromise suggested by the resolution of the 
inhabitants at their public meeting. Thus 
Malacca enjoyed the dubious honour of having 
slaves amongst its residents many years after 
slavery had ceased to exist in other parts of the 

The discussion of the slavery question 
incidentally led to a sharp controversy on the 
subject of press restrictions. The local news- 
paper, the Malacca Observer, which was printed 
at the Mission Press, in dealing with the points 
at issue ventured to write somewhat strongly 
on the attitude of the Government. Mr. Fuller- 
ton, who took a strictly official view of the 

functions of the press, and never tolerated the 
least approach to freedom in newspaper com- 
ments, peremptorily ordered the withdrawal of 
the subsidy which the paper enjoyed from 
the Government. Mr. Garling, the Resident 
Councillor, in conveying the orders of his 
superior to the offending newspaper, appears 
to have intimated that the stoppage of the 
allowance carried with it the withdrawal of the 
censorship. Great was Mr. Fullerton's indig- 
nation when he learned that his directions had 
been thus interpreted. He indited a strongly- 
worded communication to Mr. Garling, direct- 
ing him to re-institute the control over the press, 
and acquainting him that he would be held 
responsible for any improper pubHcation that 
might appear. Not content with this, the angry 
official caused a long letter to be written to Mr. 
Murchison, the Resident Councillor at Singa- 
pore, expatiating on the magnitude of the 
blunder that had been committed, and warning 
him against a similar display of weakness in 
the case of the Singapore paper. "The partial 
and offensive style adopted by the editor of the 
Malacca Observer in the discussion of local 
slavery had," he said, "tended completely to 
destroy the peace, harmony, and good order of 
the settlement, and as that question had been 
submitted to the Supreme Government it was 
most desirable that the subsisting irritation 
should be allowed to subside, and that, pending 
reference, publications at a neighbouring settle- 
ment having a tendency to keep it alive, and 
coming professedly from the same channel, 
should be discouraged." He therefore directed 
that no observations bearing on the question 
of local slavery at Malacca should be permitted 
to appear in the Singapore Chronicle. After 
pointing out that the printers were responsible 
with the publishers, the letter proceeded : "That 
a Press instituted for the purpose of diffusing 
useful knowledge and the principles of religion 
and morality should be made the instrument 
for disseminating scandalous aspersions on the 
Government under which they live, is a point 
for the consideration of the managers in 
Europe." Accompanying the letter was a 
minute penned by Mr. Fullerton on the sub- 
ject of the outrageous conduct of the newspaper 
in writing freely on a matter of great public 
interest. This document showed that the irate 
Governor had a great command of minatory 
language. He wrote : " A more indecent and 
scurrilous production has seldom appeared, 
and I can only express amazement that, with 
all previous discussions before him connected 
with the paper, Mr. Garling should have 
thought of removing restraints, the necessity 
of which was sufficiently demonstrated by 
every paper brought before him." He ex- 
pressed "the firm conviction that unless 
supported by Mr. Garling himself such obser- 
vations would never have appeared, and that 
he has all along had the means of putting an 
end to such lucubrations. The Government 
contributes to the Free School 210.8 dollars per 
month ; the editor is the master of the school, 
drawing his means of subsistence from the 
contribution of Government ; the printers are 
the members of the Mission, alike supported by 
Government, and I must repeat my belief that, 
unless supported by Mr. Garling, the editor 
never would have hazarded such observations. 




. . . These circumstances only show how 
utterly impracticable the existence of an unre- 
stricted paper is to the state of the settlement, 
and the endless wrangling and disputes it must 
in so small a society create, and as I presume 
the paper will now cease, any further measure 
respecting it will be unnecessary ; the experi- 
ment will no doubt be duly remembered should 
any future applications be made to Government 
to sanction such a publication."' Mr. Fuller- 
ton's anticipation that his drastic measures of 
discipline would be fatal to the Malacca Obser- 
ver was realised. Soon after the withdrawal 
of the subsidy the issue of the journal was 
stopped, and a good many years passed be- 
fore another newspaper was published in the 

Mr. FuUerton had a great opinion of the 
conveniences and capabilities of Malacca. So 
strongly indeed was he drawn to it that in 1828 
he seriously proposed making the settlement 
the capital. He urged as grounds for the 
change that Malacca had been the seat of Euro- 
pean Government for more than two hundred 
years, that it had a more healthy climate than 
Pinang, was more centrally situated, was 
within two days' sail of Pinang and Singa- 
pore, and had more resources than either of 
those settlements for providing supplies for 
troops. B'urthermore it, being on the conti- 
nent, commanded an interior, and owing to 
the shoal water no ship could approach near 
enough to bring its guns to bear on the shore ; 
• " Straits Settlements Records," Xo. 128. 

it had an indigenous and attached population, 
and in a political view it was conveniently 
situated for maintaining such influence over 
the Malay States as would prevent them from 
faUing under Siamese dominion, and was near 
enough to the end of the straits to enable the 
proceedings of the Dutch to be watched. It 
was said afterwards by Mr. Blundell, Governor 
of the Straits, that there was much force in the 
arguments, but that it had become so much the 
habit to decry Malacca and pity the state into 
which ic was supposed to have fallen, that the 
argument would at that time only excite a smile 
of ridicule. • 

After the first shock of the Singapore com- 
petition the trade of Malacca settled down into 
a condition of stagnation from which it was 
not to recover for many years. The com- 
mercial transactions carried through almost 
exclusively related to articles of local produc- 
tion. The staple exports were gold-dust and 
tin. In 1836 it was stated that annually about 
Rs. 20,000 worth of the former and Rs. 150,000 
of the latter were exported, chiefly to Madras, 
Calcutta, Singapore, Pinang, and China. The 
produce filtered through from the native Slates 
in the Hinterland, and small as the annual 
exports were, they were sufficient to show what 
wealth might be drawn upon if only a settled 
system of government were introduced into the 
interior. As regards gold, the bulk of the pro- 
duce came from Mount Ophir and its neigh- 
bourhood. But from time to time there were 
' ''Anecdotal History of Singapore," i. 228. 

rumours of discoveries in other directions. 
For example, in the records for 1828 is a Malacca 
letter reporting the discovery of a gold mine in 
the vicinity of the settlement. The mine was 
said to yield a fair return to the 80 Chinese 
engaged in working it, but the results were not 
sufficiently good to promise any permanent 
material advantage. 

In later years the course of Malacca life has 
been uneventful. " Happy is the nation that 
has no history," writes the poet. We may 
paraphrase the line and say, " Happy is the 
settlement that has no history." If Malacca 
has not been abundantly blessed with trade she 
has had no great calamities or serious losses to 
lament. She drifted on down the avenue of 
time calmly and peacefully, like one of the 
ancient regime who is above the ordinary sordid 
realities of life, .i few years since the inno- 
vating railway intruded upon the dull serenity 
of her existence, bringing in its wake the bustle 
of the twentieth century. This change will 
become more pronounced with the extension 
of the railway system throughout the peninsula. 
Trade from the central districts will naturally 
gravitate to Malacca, as the most convenient 
outlet for all purposes on this part of the coast, 
and the settlement will also benefit both directly 
and indirectly from the development of the 
rubber industry which is proceeding on every 
hand. In this way the old prosperity of the port 
will be revived, and she will once more plav an 
active part in the commercial history of the 




{With chapters on the early history of the Malays and the Portuguese and Dutch periods by Mr. R. J. Wilkixson, 

Secretary to the Resident of Perak). 


I X T R O D U C T O R Y 

AXY successes have been 
accomplished by British 
administrators invarious 
parts of the Empire, but 
there is perhaps no more 
remarkable achievement 
to their credit than the 
establishment of the 
Federated Malay States 
on their existing basis. Less than a half- 
century- since, the territory embraced within 
the confederation was a wild and thinly in- 
habited region, over which a few untutored 
chiefs exercised a mere semblance of authority. 
Piracy was rife on the coast, and the interior, 
where not impenetrable jungle or inaccessible 
swamp, was given over to the savagest anar- 
chical conditions. There was little legitimate 
trade ; there were no proper roads ; the towns, 
so called, were miserable collections of huts 
devoid of even the rudiments of civilised life ; 
the area was a sort of no-man'.i-land, where 
the rule of might flourished in its nakedebt 
form. To-day the States have a revenue 
approaching twenty-five million dollars, and 
they e.^port annually produce worth more 
than eighty million dollars. There are over 
2,500 miles of splendid roads, and 396 miles 
of railways built at a cost of 37,261,922 dollars, 
and earning annually upwards of four million 
dollars. The population, which in 1879 was 
only 81,084, is now close upon a million, and 
there are towns which have nearly as many 
inhabitants as were to be found in the entire 
area before the advent of the British. A net- 
work of postal and telegraph agencies covers 
the land ; there are schools accommodating 
nearly si.xteen thousand pupils, and hospitals 
which annually minister to nearly sixty thousand 
in-patients and one hundred and twenty thou- 
sand out-patients. We may search in vain in 
the annals of colonisation for a more brilliant 
example of the successful application of sound 
principles of government in the case of a 
backward community residing in a wild, un- 

developed region. And yet it would seem 
that we are little more than on the threshold 
of this great venture in administration. Such 
is the richness and promise of this region that 
the statistics of to-day may a few decades hence 
pale into insignificance beside the results which 
will then be presented. It is truly a wonderful 
land, this over which the favouring shadow of 
British protection has been cast, and the Briton 
may point to it with legitimate pride as a con- 
vincing proof that the genius of his race for 
rule in subject lands exists in undiminished 

Though the influences which have given this 
notable addition to the Empire are almost en- 
tirely modern, the importance of extending the 
protecting influence of our flag to the Malay 
States was long since recognised. Mr. John 
-Anderson, in his famous pamphlet on the con- 
quest of Kedah, to which reference has been 
made in the earlier historical sections of this 
work, argued strenuously in favour of a for- 
ward policy in the peninsula. " In extending 
our protecting influence to Quedah and de- 
claring the other Malayan States under our 
guardianship against foreign invasion, we 
acquire," he wrote, " a vast increase of colonial 
power without any outlay or hazard, and we 
rescue from oppression a countless multitude 
of human bemgs who will no doubt become 
attached and faithful dependents ; we protect 
them in the quiet pursuits of commerce, and 
give life and energy to their exertions. We 
shall acquire for our country the valuable pro- 
ducts of these countries without those obnoxious 
impositions under which we formerly derived 
supplies from the West Indies." These saga- 
cious counsels were re-echoed by Sir Stamford 
Raffles in his " Memoir on the Administration 
of the Eastern Islands," which he penned after 
the occupation of Singapore. ■' .Among the 
Malay States," he remarked, " we shall find 
none of the obstacles which exist among the 
more civilised people of India to the reception 
of new customs and ideas. They have not 
undergone the same artificial moulding ; they 
are fresher from the hand of Nature, and the 
absence of bigotry and inveterate prejudice 
leaves them much more open to receive new 

impressions. With a high reverence for 

ancestrj- and nobility of descent, they are more 
influenced, and are quicker discerners of supe- 
riority of individual talent, than is usual among 
people not far advanced in civilisation. They 
are addicted to commerce, which has already 
given a taste for luxuries, and this propensity 
they indulge to the utmost extent of their 
means. Among a people so unsophisticated 
and so free from prejudices, it is obvious that 
a greater scope is given to the influence of 
example ; that in proportion as their inter- 
course with Europeans increases, and a free 
commerce adds to their resources, along with 
the wants which will be created and the 
luxuries supplied, the humanising arts of life 
will also find their way ; and we may antici- 
pate a much more rapid improvement than in 
nations who, having once arrived at a high 
point in civilisation and retrograded in the 
scale, and now burdened by the recollection 
of what they once were, are brought up in a 
contempt for everything beyond their own 
narrow circle, and who have for centuries 
bent under the double load of foreign tyranny 
and priestly intolerance. When these striking 
and important difterences are taken into ac- 
count, we may be permitted to indulge more 
sanguine expectations of improvement among 
the tribes of the Eastern Isles. We may look 
forward to an early abolition of piracy and 
illicit traffic when the seas shall be open to the 
free current of commerce, and when the British 
flag shall wave over them in protection of its 
freedom and in promotion of its spirit." Here, 
as usual. Raffles showed how completely he 
understood the problems underlying the exist- 
ence of British authority in the Straits. But 
his and his brother-official's views were dis- 
regarded by the timid oligarchy which had 
the last voice in the direction of British 
policy in Malaya at this period. Kedah, 
as we have seen, was given over to its 
fate. A little timely exertion of authority 
would have saved that interesting State and 
its people from the horrors of the Siamese 
invasion, and have paved the way for the great 
work which was commenced a half-century 
later. But the Government in Calcutta shrank 



from the small risk involved in the support of 
the liaja, and a ruthless despotism was estab- 
lished in the area, to the discredit of British 
diplomacy and to the extreme detriment of 
British trade. 

Before entering upon a narration of the 
various steps which led up to the establish- 
ment of British influence in the greater part 
of the Malay peninsula we may profitably 
make a retrospective survey of this important 
area in its ethnological and historical aspects. 
For this purpose it will be appropriate to 
introduce here some valuable chapters kindly 
contributed by Mr. R. Wilkinson, of the 
Federated Malay States Civil Service, who has 
given much study to the early history of 

Wild Aboriginal Tribes. 

It is a matter of common knowledge that the 
Malays were not the first inhabitants of the 
peninsula. Although they intermarried with 
the aborigines, and although they show many 
traces of mixed blood, they failed to completely 
absorb the races that they supplanted. The 
new settlers kept to the rivers ; the older races 
lived on the mountains or among the swamps. 
Some of the old tribes died out, some adopted 
the ways of the Malays, but others retained 
their own language and their primitive culture 
and are still to be found in many parts of 
British Malaya. 

The negrito aborigines collectively known as 
Semang are usually believed to have been the 
first race to occupy the peninsula. As they are 
closely akin to the Aetas of the Philippines and 
the Mincopies of the Andamans, they must at 
one time have covered large tracts of country 
from which tliey have since completely dis- 
appeared, but at the present day they are mere 
survivals, and play no part whatever in civilised 
life. Slowly but surely they are dying out. 
Even within the last century they occupied the 
swampy coast districts from Trang in the North 
to the borders of Larut in the South, but at the 
census of i8gi only one negrito, vifho, as the 
enumerator said, "twittered like a bird," was 
recorded from Province Wellesley, and in igoi 
not one single survivor was found. Although 
present-day students — who naturally prefer the 
evidence of their own eyes to the records of 
past observers — are inclined to regard the 
Semang as a mountain people, it is quite 
possible that their more natural habitat was 
the swamp country from which they have been 
expelled. Whether this be so or not, the 
negritoes of British Malaya are usually divided 
up by the Malays into three ; the Semang Paya 
or Swamp-Semangs (now almost extinct) ; the 
Semang Bukit or Mountain Semangs, who in- 
habit the mountains of Upper Perak ; and the 
Pangan, who are occasionally found in some of 
the hills between Pahang and Kelantan. 

The culture of some of these negrito tribes 
is very primitive. The wilder Semangs are 
extremely nomadic ; they are not acquainted 
with any form of agriculture ; they use bows 
and arrows ; they live in mere leaf-shelters, 
with floors that are not raised above the 
ground ; their quivers and other bamboo 

utensils are very roughly made and adorned. 
Such statements would not, however, be true 
of the whole Semang race. A few tribes have 
learned to plant ; others to use the blowpipe ; 
others have very beautifully made quivers. 
Some go so far — if Mr. Skeat is to be relied 
upon — as to include the theft of a blunderbuss 
in their little catalogues of crime. Unless, how- 
ever, we are prepared to believe that they 
invented such things as blunderbusses, we have 

If identity of language is any criterion of 
common orighi, the Northern Sakai racial 
division includes the tribes known as the 
"Sakai of Korbu," the "Sakai of the Plus," 
the "Sakai of Tanjong Rambutan " and the 
" Tembe," who inhabit the Pahang side of the 
great Kinta mountains. As these Northern 
Sakai are rather darker than the Sakai of 
Batang Padang, and not quite as dark as the 
Semang, they have sometimes been classed as 

j\^ jiip ji-^-. 5;0 OJ^^^ 



to admit that they must have borrowed some 
of their neighbours' culture. 

A few Semang are still to be found in the 
mountains between Selaraa and the Perak 
valleys. Others doubtless exist in the little 
known country that lies between Temengor 
and the river Plus ; but south of the Plus we 
come to a fairer race, the northern division of 
the numerous tribes that are often grouped 
together as " Sakai." 

a mere mixed race, a cross between their 
northern and southern neighbours. This is 
not necessarily the case. Their rather serious 
appearance, for one thing, does not suggest an 
admixture of the infantile physiognomy of the 
Semang and the gay boyish looks of the Sakai 
of Slim and Bidor. Moreover, their industrial 
art — to judge by blowpipes and quivers — is 
higher than that of their neighbours. They 
practise agriculture, and live in small houses 



raised above the ground — the commonest type 
of house throughout Indo-China. 

The expression " Central Sakai " has been 
used to cover a group of tribes who Uve in the 
Batang Padang mountains and speak what is 
practically a common language — though there 
are a few dialectic differences in the different 
parts of this district. Mr. Hugh Clifford was 
the first to point out the curiously abrupt racial 
frontier between the " Tembe " to the north 
and the " Senoi " (his name for the Central 
Sakai) to the south. But all the secrets of this 
racial frontier have not yet been revealed. 
Although the Sakai who live in the valleys 
above Gopeng speak a language that very 
closely resembles the language of the Sakai 
of Bidor, Sungkai and Slim, they seem still 
closer akin — racially — to their neighbours in 
the north. Moreover, if we look up from 

than those of their northern and southern 
neighbours. Linguistically we are still in the 
" Central Sakai " region. 

Near Tanjong Malim (the boundary between 
Perak and Selangor) the type suddenly changes. 
We come upon fresh tribes differing in appear- 
ance from the Central Sakai, living (in some 
cases) in lofty tree huts, and speaking varieties 
of the great " Besisi " group of Sakai dialects. 
The men who speak these Besisi dialects 
seem to be a very mixed race. Some — dwell- 
ing in the Selangor mountains — are a singularly 
well built race. Others who live in the swamps 
and in the coast districts are a more miserable 
people of slighter build, and with a certain 
suggestion of negrito admixture. Their culture 
is comparatively high. They have a more 
elaborate social system, with triple headmen 
instead of a solitary village elder to rule the 


A, B, c, D, Semang Quivers. 

H, Quiver from Slim. 

E, F, Nortliern Sakai Quivers. 
I, J, Besisi Quivers. 

G, Batang Padang Quiver. 
K, Kuantan Quiver. 

Gopeng to the far mountains lying just to the 
north of Gunong Berembun, we can see clear- 
ings made by another tribe — the Mai Liik or 
" men of the mountains," of whom the Central 
Sakai stand in deadly fear. These mysterious 
Mai Luk have communal houses like the 
Borneo Dyaks, they plant vegetables, they paint 
their foreheads, they are credited with great 
ferocity, and they speak a language of which the 
only thing known is that it is not Central Sakai. 
As we proceed further south the racial type 
slowly changes until — in the mountains behind 
Tapah, Bidor, Sungkai and Slim — we come to a 
distinct and unmistakable type that is compara- 
ti-^ely well known to European students. These 
Mai Darat, or hill men, are slightly lower in 
culture than the Northern Sakai ; they live in 
shelters rather than huts ; their quivers and 
blowpipes are very much more simply made 

small community. This form of tribal organisa- 
tion — under a bafiii, jenang, an&ickra [or jura 
krah) — is common to a very large number of 
tribes in the south of the peninsula, and is also 
found among the Orang Laut, or Sea-gipsies. 
The Besisi tribes cultivate the soil, build fair 
houses, have some artistic sense, are fond of 
music, possess a few primitive songs, and 
know something of the art of navigation. They 
are found all over Selangor, Negri Sembilan, 
and Malacca. 

In the mountains of Jelebu, near the head- 
waters of the Kongkoi and Kenaboi rivers, are 
found the Kenaboi, a shy and mysterious people 
who speak a language totally unlike either 
Central Sakai, Besisi, or Malay. So little is 
known about the Kenaboi that it would be 
dangerous to commit oneself to any conjecture 
regarding their position in the ethnography of 

the peninsula, but it is at least probable that 
they represent a distinct and very interesting 
racial element. In the flat country on the 
border between Negri Sembilan and Pahang 
we meet the Serting Sakai, an important and 
rather large tribe that seems at one time to 
have been in contact with some early Mon- 
Anam civilisation. Moreover, it is said that 
there are traces of ancient canal-cuttings in the 
country that this tribe occupies. By the upper 
wajers of the Rompin river there Uve many 
Sakai of whom very little is known. They 
may be "Besisi," "Serting Sakai," "Jakun," 
or "Sakai of Kuantan." The term "Jakun " is 
applied to a large number of remnants of old 
Malacca and Johore tribes that have now been 
so much affected by Malay civilisation as to 
make it impossible to ever hope to clear up the 
mystery of their origin. A few brief Jakun 
vocabularies have been collected in the past, a 
few customs noted. It is perhaps too much to 
expect that anything more will ever be done. 

The aborigines who inhabit the country 
near Kuantan (and perhaps near Pekan, and 
even further south) speak a language of their 
own, of which no vocabulary has ever been 
collected, and use curious wooden blowpipes 
of a very unusual type. They may be a dis- 
tinct race, as they seem to have a primitive 
culture that is quite peculiar to themselves. 
In the mountainous region lying between 
this Kuantan district and the Tembeling river 
there is found another tribe of Sakais, who wear 
strange rattan girdles like the Borneo Dyaks, 
and speak a language of which one observer, 
though acquainted with Malay, Central Sakai, 
and Northern Sakai, could make out nothing. 
In the mountain mass known as Gunong 
Benom (in Pahang) there are found other 
tribes of Sakais speaking a language that has 
some kinship with Besisi and Serting Sakai. 
Very little else is known about them. 

We possess fairly good specimens — vocabu- 
laries of the languages of all the better known 
Sakai and Semang dialects. With the single 
exception of Kenaboi, they have a very 
marked common element, and may be classed 
as divisions of the same language, although the 
peoples that speak them show such differences 
of race and culture. This language is compli- 
cated and inflected, and it has an elaborate 
grammar, but so little is known of the details 
of its structure that we dare not generalise or 
point to any one dialect as being probably 
the purest form of Sakai. It is impossible also 
to say which race first brought this form of 
speech to the peninsula. It would, however, 
be rash to assume that Sakai and Kenaboi are 
the only two distinctive types of language used 
by these wild tribes. Nothing sufficient is yet 
known of the speech of the Mai Luk, of the 
dialects of Kuantan, and of the old Jakun lan- 
guages. Far too much has been inferred from 
the customs of what one may term the " stock " 
tribes of Sakai — the tribes that are readily acces- 
sible and therefore easy to study. Such peoples 
have been visited again and again by casual 
observers, to the neglect of the remoter and 
lesser-known tribes, who may prove to be far 
more interesting in the end. When we 
consider the physical differences between tribe 
and tribe, the differences of language, the 
differences of culture evinced in types of 



dwellings, in tribal organisation, in weapons, 
and in mode of life, we may perhaps be ex- 
cused for thinking that the racial elements in 
the peninsula will prove to be more numerous 
and important than scientists are apt to believe. 

Meanwhile the peninsula presents us with a 
curious historical museum, showing every grade 
of primitive culture. It gives us the humble 
negrito who has not learnt to till the ground, 
but wanders over the country and lives from 
hand to mouth on the products of the jungle. 
It gives us the same negrito after he has learnt 
the rudiments of art and agriculture from his 
Sakai neighbours. It gives us the Sakai who 
grows certain simple fruits and vegetables, and 
is nomadic in a far slighter degree than the 
primitive Semang. A man who plants is a 
man who lives some time in one place, and 
therefore may find it worth his vs'hile to build 
a more substantial dwelling than a mere shelter 
for a night. Here, however, primitive culture 
stops. Even the man who has learnt to plant 
a crop in a clearing must abandon his home 
when the soil begins to be exhausted. The 
boundary between primitive culture and 
civilisation cannot be said to be reached 
until habitations become really permanent, 
and until a comparatively small area can 
support a large population. That boundary 
is therefore crossed when a people learn to 
renew the fertility of land by irrigation or by 
.manuring, or by a proper system of rotation of 
crops. The Malays, with their system of rice- 
planting — the irrigated rice, not hill rice — have 
crossed that boundary. But no Sakai tribe has 
yet done so. 

Mr. Cameron, in his work on Malaya, gives 
an interesting description of the aborigines. A 
few passages relative to the tribal beliefs may 
be cited. 

" The accounts of their origin," he says, " are 
amusing. . . . Among one tribe it is stated, 
and with all gravity, that they are descended 
from two white apes, Ounkeh Puteh, who, 
having reared their young ones, sent them 
into the plains, where the greater number 
perfected so well that they became men ; 
those who did not become men returned once 
more to the mountains, and still continue apes. 
Another account, less favourable to the theory 
.of progressive creation, is that God, having in 
heaven called into life a being endowed with 
great strength and beauty, named him Batin. 
God, desirous that a form so fair should be 
perpetirated, gave to Batin a companion, and 
told him to seek a dwelling upon earth. 
Charmed with its beauties, Batin and his 
companion alighted and took up their abode 
on the banks of the river of Johore, close to 
Sijigapore, increasing and multiplying with a 
rapidity and to a degree now unknown, and 
from these two, they say, all the tribes of the 
peninsula are descended." 

Another tribe, the Binnas, give an account 
of their origin which strongly recalls the 
Xoachian story of Scripture. " The ground, 
they say, on which we stand is not solid. It 
is merely the skin of the earth (Kulit Bumi). 
In ancient times God broke up this skin, so 
that the world was destroyed and over- 
whelmed with water. Afterwards he caused 
Gunong Lulumut, with Chimundang'and Bech- 
nak, to rise, and this low land which we 

inhabit was formed later. These mountains 
on the south, and Mount Ophir, Gunong Kap, 
Gunong Tonkat Bangsi and Gunong Tonkat 
Subang on the north (all mountains within a 
short radius), give a fixity to the earth's skin. 
The earth still depends entirely on these 
mountains for steadiness. The Lulumut 
mountains are Ihe oldest land. The summit 
of Gunong Tonkat Bangsi is within one foot 
of the sky, that of Gunong Tonkat Subang is 
within an ear-ring's length, and that of Gunong 
Kap is in contact with it. After Lulumut had 
emerged a prahu of pulai wood, covered over 
and without any opening, floated on the 
waters. In this God had enclosed a man 
and a woman whom He had made. After 
the lapse of some time the prahu was neither 
directed with nor against the current, nor driven 
to and fro. The man and woman, feeling it to 
rest motionless, nibbled their way through it, 
stood on the dry ground, and beheld this our 
world. At first, however, everything was 
obscure. There was neither morning nor 
evening, because the sun had not yet been 
made. When it became light they saw seven 
Sindudo trees and seven plants of Ramput 
Sambau. They then said to each other, ' In 
what a condition are we, without children 
or grandchildren ! ' Some time afterwards 
the woman became pregnant, not, however, 
in her womb, but in the calves of her legs. 
From the right leg was brought forth a male 
and from the left a female child. Hence it is 
that the issue of the same womb cannot inter- 
marry. All mankind are the descendants of 
the two children of the first pair. When 
men had much increased God looked down 
upon them with pleasure and reckoned their 
numbers." The Mantra tribe behind JMount 
Ophir have a somewhat similar legend. 
"They say that their fathers came originally 
from heaven in a large and magnificent ship 
built by God, which was set floating on the 
waters of the earth. The ship sailed with fear- 
ful rapidity round and about the earth till it 
grounded upon one of the mountains of the 
peninsula, where they declare it is still to be 
seen. Their fathers disembarked and took up 
their abode on the new earth, some on the 
coast, some on the plains, and others on the 
mountains, but all under one chief called 
Batin Alam." 

Their description of the probable end of the 
world, as given by Mr. Cameron from notes 
supplied him by Father Borie, a Roman 
Catholic missionary to the Jakun near 
Malacca, may be given as a pendant to these 
curious traditions : " The human race having 
ceased to five, a great wind will arise accom- 
panied by rain, the waters wilt descend with 
rapidity, lightning will fill the space all around, 
and the mountains will sink down ; then a 
great heat will succeed ; there will be no more 
night, and the earth will wither like the grass 
in the field ; God will then come down 
surrounded by an immense whirlwind of flame, 
ready to consume the universe. But God will 
first assemble the souls of the sinners, burn 
them for the first time and weigh them, after 
having collected their ashes by means of a 
fine piece of linen cloth. Those who will 
have thus passed the first time through the 
furnace without having been purified will be 

successively burned and weighed for seven 
times, when all those souls which have been 
purified will go to enjoy the happiness of 
heaven, and those that cannot be purified— 
that is to say, the souls of great sinners, such 
as homicides and those who have been guilty 
of rape— will be cast into hell, where they will 
suffer the torments of flames in company with 
devils ; there will be tigers and serpents in hell 
to torment the damned. Lastly, God, having 
taken a light from hell, will close the portals 
and then set fire to the earth." 


Early Civilisation. 

Although the British possessions in Malaya 
are not absolutely destitute of archteological 
remains, they are singularly poor in rehcs of 
antiquity when contrasted with Java and Cam- 
bodia, or even with the northern part of the 
peninsula itself. Ancient inscriptions have 
been found in Kedah, in the Northern District 
of Province Wellesley, in the Central District 
of Province Wellesley, and, as has been noted, 
in the island of Singapore. That in Kedah has 
been completely deciphered ; it is a Buddhist 
formula, such as might have been written up 
in the cell or cave of an ascetic. That in the 
north of Province Wellesley was carved on a 
pillar that seemed to form part of a little 
temple ; it has not been completely deciphered, 
but from the form of the written character it is 
believed to date back to the year 400 A.D., and 
to be the oldest inscription in this part of the 
world, unless, indeed, the Kedah writing is 
slightly more ancient. The rock carvings at 
Cheroh Tokun, near Bukit Mertajam, belong to 
various dates and are too worn away to be read 
in connected sentences ; the oldest seems to go 
back to the fifth century and another to the 
sixth century A.D. As the monument in Singa- 
pore was blown up by the Public Works 
Department in order to make room for some 
town improvements, it is no longer available 
for study, but from a rough copy made before 
its destruction it seems to have been in the 
ancient Kawi character of Java or Sumatra, 
It probably dates back to the thirteenth or four- 
teenth century A.u. Another inscription, pre- 
sumably of the same class, is to be seen at Pulau 
Karimun, near Singapore. 

Near Pengkalan Kampas, on the Linggi 
river, there are a number of broken monu- 
ments which, though they seem to be of 
comparatively recent date, are of considerable 
interest. On a curious four-sided pillar there 
are four inscriptions, two in clear-cut Arabic 
and two in the fainter lettering of an unknown 
script. Below these inscriptions there is a 
circular hole cut right through the pillar and 
just large enough to permit of the passage of a 
man's arm— it is, indeed, believed that this pillar 
(which has been much used for oaths and 
ordeals) will tighten round the arm of anv man 
who is rash enough to swear falsely when in its 
power. Near this pillar is another cut stone 
on which the lettering of some old non- Arabic 
insciiption can be dimly seen. As there are 
many other fragments of carved stone that go to 

D * 



make up the kramat, or holy place, of which the 
inscriptions form part, the Malays have invented 
a legend that these monuments represent the 
petrified property of an ancient saint — his 
spoon, his sword, and his buclcler. Maho- 
medan zeal seems also to have carved the holy 
name of Allah on the sword of the saint, and to 

some curious old bronzes resembling bells that 
have been dug up at Klang, in Selangor, (2) in 
a little bronze image suggestive of a Buddha 
that was discovered in a Tanjong Rambutan 
mine at a depth of some 60 feet below the 
surface, (3) in an old Bernam tomb beautifully 
constructed of thin slabs of stone and con- 

■ .!iM,-<in.T(J'.°' 







/ !" 

^'"r-r' ^nW U ::v3 

Who were the men who left these remains ? 
If it is true (as the condition of the Selinsing 
workings seems to suggest) that the mines were 
suddenly abandoned in the very midst of the 
work that was being done, such a fact would 
lend further support to the natural conjecture 
that the miners were only foreign adventurers 
who exploited the wealth of the peninsula and 
did not make the country their permanent 
home. The Malays say that these alien miners 
were " men of Siam." Is this true ? Students 
are apt to forget that "men of Siam" — seven 
or eight centuries ago — would refer to the 
great and highly-civilised Cambodian race who 
occupied the valley of the Menam before the 
coming of the " Thai," from whom the present 
Siamese are descended. It is therefore pro- 
bable enough that the Malays are right, and 
that the mining shafts of Selinsing are due to 
the people who built the magnificent temples 
of Angkor. Further evidence — if such evidence 
is needed — may be found in the fact that the 
Sakai of certain parts of Pahang use numerals 
that are neither Siamese nor Malay nor true 
Sakai, but non-Khmer. 

The general conclusion that one is forced to 
draw from the traces of ancient culture in the 
peninsula is that the southern portions of. the 
country were often visited, but never actually 
occupied by any civilised race until the Malays 
came in a.d. 1400. Such a conclusion would 
not, however, be true of the Northern States — 
of Kedah, Kelantan, Trang, and Singgora. 
There we find undoubted evidence of the 
existence of powerful Buddhist States like that 
of Langkasuka, the kingdom of alang-kah suka 
or of the Golden Age of Kedah, still re- 
membered as a fairyland of Malay romance. 
This Langkasuka was a very ancient State 
indeed. It is mentioned in Chinese records as 
Langgasu as far back as 500 a.d., and was then 
reputed to be four centuries old ; it appears (in 
Javanese literature) as one of the kingdoms 
overcome by Majapahit in a.d. 1377 ; its name 
probably survives to this day in the " Langkawi" 
islands off the Kedah coast. But the ancient 
States of Northern Malaya lie outside the 
scope of this essay. They are interesting 
because they probably sent small mining 
colonies to the south, and thus claimed some 
sort of dominion over the rest of the peninsula. 
The great Siamese invasion changed all that. 
By crushing the Northern States during the 
thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries 
A.D., it ruined their little southern colonies, and 
left the territories of Perak, Johore, Malacca, 
and Pahang a mere no-man's-land that the 
Malays from Sumatra could easily occupy. 


(See p. 77.) 


The Coming of the Malays. 

have converted the first line of the inscriptions 
into the well-known formula, " In the name of 
God, the Merciful, the Compassionate." Frag- 
ments of other monuments may be seen lying 
low in the swamp near which this Linggi 
kramat is built up. 

Besides these inscriptions, traces of ancient 
non-Malayan civilisations have been found (i) in 

taining some broken pottery and three cornelian 
beads, and (4) in pottery and iron mining tools 
that are continually being met with in old 
mining workings. More impressive, however, 
than any of these small relics are the galleries, 
slopes, and shafts of the old mines at Selinsing, 
in Pahang — the work of a race that must have 
possessed no small degree of mechanical skill. 

According to a tradition that is accepted in 
almost every portion of Malaya, the founder 
of the most famous native dynasties was a 
Prince named Sang Sapurba, son of Raja 
Suran, the " Ruler of the East and of the 
West," by his marriage with a mermaid, the 
daughter of the kings of the sea. This Prince 
first revealed himself upon the hill of Sigun- 



tang, near Mount Mahameru, in the hinterland 
of Palembang. Two young girls who dwelt 
upon the hill are said to have seen a great 
light shining through the darkness of night. 
On ascending the hill in the morning they 


(See p. 76.) 

found that their rice-crops had been trans- 
formed — the grain into gold, the leaves into 
silver, the stalks into golden brass. Proceeding 
further, they came across three young men, the 
eldest of whom was mounted on a silver-white 
bull and was dressed as a king, while the two 
younger, his brothers, bore the sword and 
spear that indicated sovereign power. " Who, 
then, are you — spirits or fairies?" said the 
astonished girls. " Neither spirits nor fairies, 
but men," said one of the brothers ; " we are 
Princes of the race of the Great Alexander; we 
have his seal, his sword, and his spear ; 
we seek his inheritance on earth." " And 
what proof have you of this ? " said tbe girls. 
" Let the crown I wear bear me witness if 
necessary," replied the eldest Prince ; "but 
what of that ? Is it for naught that my coming 
has been marked by this crop of golden 
grain ? " Then out of the mouth of the bull 
there issued a sweet-voiced herald, who at 
once proclaimed the Prince to be a king 
bearing the title of Sang Sapurba Trimurti 
Tribuana. The newly - installed sovereign 
afterwards descended from the hill of Sigun- 
tang into the great plain watered by the 
Palembang river, where he married the 
daughter of the local chief, Demang Lebar 
Daun, and was everywhere accepted as ruler 
of the country. At a later date he is said to 

have crossed the great central range of Sumatra 
into the mountains of Menangkabau, where he 
slew the great dragon Si-Katimuna, and was 
made the king of a grateful people and the 
founder of the long line of Princes of Menang- 
kabau, the noblest dynasty of Malaya. Mean- 
while, however, his relatives in Palembang 
had crossed the sea, first to the island of 
Bintang and afterwards from Bintang to the 
island of Tamasak, on which they founded the 
city of Singapore. " And the city of Singapore 
became mighty ; and its fame filled all the 
earth." Such, at least, is the story that is told 
us in the "Malay Annals." 

It is very easy to criticise this story — to 
point out that the tale of the Macedonian origin 
of Malay kings is too absurd for acceptance, 
and that the miraculous incidents do not 
commend themselves to the sceptical historians 
of the present day. It is also possible to show 
that there are actuall}- two entirely different 
versions of the story in the manuscripts of the 
" Malay Annals," and that both these versions 
differ from a third version given by the 
annalist himself to his contemporary, the author 
of the Malay book known as the " Bustanu's 
salatin." Xo one need treat this legend of 
Sang Sapurba as actual history. But the 
ancient kingdoms of Singapore and Palembang 
are no myth ; the latter, at least, must have 
played a great part in history. Nor is the 
legend in any way an invention of the author 
of the " Malay Annals " ; it occurs in still earlier 
books, and is folklore throughout Perak at the 
present day. The Sultan of Perak claims 
direct descent from Sang Sapurba ; one of his 
chiefs, the Dato' Sri Nara Diraja, is the lineal 
representative of the herald who came out of 
the mouth of the bull. As late as February, 
1907, the Raja Bendahara was installed (in the 
High Commissioner's presence) by the Dato' 
Sri Nara Diraja reciting over him the mystic 
words — in a forgotten tongue — that the latter 
chief's ancestor is said to have used at the 
proclamation of Sang Sapurba himself. The 
origin of these ancient legends and old-world 
ceremonies is lost in the dimness of past 
centuries, but it may, to some extent, be 
explained by the light that Chinese records 
throw upon Malay history. 

We know with absolute certainty from the 
accounts of Chinese trade with Sumatra that 
the kingdom of Palembang was a powerful 
State certainly as far back as the year goo a.d., 
perhaps even as far back as the year 450 a.d. 
We even possess the names (often mutilated 
beyond recognition by Chinese transcribers) of 
a large number of the old Kings of Palembang. 
We can see that these ancient rulers bore 
high-sounding Sanskrit titles, almost invari- 
ably beginning with the royal honorific sri 
that is still used by great Malay dignitaries. 
But while the Malay annalist allows a single 
generation to cover tire whole period from the 
founding of the State of Palembang by Sang 
Sapurba down to the establishment of the city 
of Singapore, we are in a position to see that 
the period in question must have covered 
many centuries, and that even a millennium 
may have elapsed between the days of the 
founder of Palembang and those of the 
coloniser of Tamasak or Singapore. Although 
Sang Sapurba may be nothing more than a 

name, the ancient legend is historical in so far 
that there must have been a time when an 
Indian or Javanese dynasty with a very high 
conception of kingly power supplanted the 
unambitious Palembang headmen, who bore 
homely titles like Demang Lebar Daun, and 
claimed no social superiority over their fellow- 
villagers. The story given us in the " Malay 
Annals " is only an idealised version of what 
must have really occurred. The most mys- 
terious feature in the legend is the reference 
to Mount Siguntang. Although this famous 
hill (which is believed by all Malays to be the 
cradle of their race) is located with curious 
definiteness on the slopes of the great volcano. 
Mount Dempo, in the hinterland of Palembang, 
there is no local tradition to guide us to the 
exact spot or to suggest to us why that locality, 
above all others, should be singled out for 
special honour. The culture of the Malay 
States that accepted the Hinduised Palembang 
tradition differs completely from that of the 
primitive Sumatran communities who have 
not been affected by foreign influence. Such 

(See p. 77.) 

differences could not have been brought about 
in any brief period of time. The history of the 
State of Palembang must go back extremely 
far into the past ; and, if only we could 



unearth some real records, they might explain 
why the proud rulers of the country thought it 
an honour to claim descent from some still 
more ancient dynasty associated with the name 
of a hill district from which all traces of 
imperial power have long since passed away. 

In the reign of the Chinese Emperor Hsiau 
Wu (a.d. 454-464), a kingdom of "Kandali" 
sent articles of gold and silver to China. In 
A.D. 502 a king of- this same Kandali sent an 
envoy to China with other valuable gifts. 
In A.D. 519, and again in A.D. 520, similar 
missions were sent. After this date " Kandali" 
disappears from history. Although Chinese 
records positively identify this country with 
San-bo-tsai or Palembang, all that contem- 
porary Chinese notices tell us about Kandali 
is that it was a Buddhist kingdom on an island 
in the Southern Sea, that its customs were 
those of Cambodia and Siam, that it produced 
flowered cloth, cotton, and excellent areca-nuts, 
and that its kings sent letters to the Chinese 
Emperor congratulating him on his fervent 
faith in Buddhism. Still, as one of these 
kings is reported to have compared the 
Chinese Emperor to a mountain covered with 
snow, we may take it that the accuracy of even 
this meagre account of Kandali is not above 
suspicion. We can perhaps see traces of 
Javanese influence in the reference to " flowered 
cloth," as the words suggest the painted floral 
designs of Java rather than the woven plaid- 
patterns of the Malays. 

In A.D. 905 Palembang reappears in Chinese 
records under the name of San-bo-tsai. In 



(See- p. 78.) 

that year the ruler of San-bo-tsai " sent tribute" 
to China and received from the Emperor the 
proud title of "the General who pacifies Distant 
Countries." In A.D. 960 "tribute" was again 

sent — twice. In a.d. 962 the same thing oc- 
curred. From A.D. 962 onwards we have a 
continuous record of similar tribute-bearing 
missions until the year 1178, when the Chinese 
Emperor found that this tribute was too expen- 
sive a luxury to be kept up, so he " issued an 
edict that they should not come to court any 
more, but make an establishment in the Fukien 
province." After this date the Palembang 
merchants ceased to be tribute-bearers and 
became ordinary traders — a change which 
caused them to temporarily disappear from 
official records. " Tribute " was, of course, 
merely a gift made to the Emperor in order 
to secure his permission to trade ; it flattered 
his pride, and was invariably returned to the 
giver in the form of titles and presents of very 
high value. So much was this the case that 
Chinese statesmen, when economically in- 
clined, were in the habit of protesting against 
the extravagance of accepting tribute. None 
the less the Emperor encouraged these men of 
Palembang, for in A.D. 1156 he declared that 
" when distant people feel themselves attracted 
by our civilising influence their discernment 
must be praised." One Malay envoy received 
the title of " the General who is attracted by 
Virtue," a second was called "the General who 
cherishes Civilising Influence," a third was 
named " the General who supports Obedience 
and cherishes Renovation." The manners of 
the men of San-bo-tsai must have been as 
ingratiating as those of their successors, the 
Malays of the present day. 

The Kings of San-bo-tsai are .said to have 
used the Sanskrit character in their writings 
and to have sealed documents with their signets 
instead of signing them with their names. 
One king is mentioned (A.D. 1017) as having 
sent among his presents " Sanskrit books folded 
between boards." Their capital was a fortified 
city with a wall of piled bricks several miles in 
circumference, but the people are said to have 
lived in scattered villages outside the town and 
to have been e.xempt from direct taxation. In 
case of war " they at once select a chief to lead 
them, every man providing his own arms and 
provisions." From these Chinese records we 
also learn that in A.D. 1003 the Emperor sent a 
gift of bells to a Buddhist temple in San-bo-tsai. 
As regards trade, the country is recorded as 
producing rattans, lignum-aloes, areca-nuts, 
coconuts, rice, poultry, ivory, rhinoceros horns, 
camphor, and cotton-cloth. In the matter of 
luxuries we are told that the people made in- 
toxicating drinks out of coconut, areca-nut, and 
honey, that they used musical instruments (a 
small guitar and small drums), and that they 
possessed imported slaves who made music for 
them by stamping on the ground and singing. 
In A.D. 992 we hear of a war between the 
Javanese and the people of Palembang. It 
seems, therefore, quite certain that Palembang 
— between the years 900 and 1360 a.d. — was a 
country of considerable civilisation and import- 
ance, owing its culture to Indian sources and 
perhaps possessing very close affinities to the 
powerful States of Java. What, then, were the 
events that brought about the downfall of this 
great Malayan kingdom ? 

The close of the thirteenth century in China 
saw the Mongol invasion that ended in making 
Kublai Khan the undisputed overlord of the 

whole country. That restless conqueror was 
not, however, satisfied with his continental 
dominions ; he fitted out great fleets to extend 
his power over the Japanese islands in the 

(See p. ;8.) 

north and over the island of Java in the south. 
He began a period of war, during which we 
hear nothing of the trade with the States in the 
Southern Seas. 

The advent of the Ming dynasty (a.d. 1368) 
commenced a new era of peace and commerce, 
in which we again find mention of the State of 
Palembang. Great changes had, however, 
taken place since the last reference to the 
country in a.d. 1178. San-bo-tsai had been 
split up into three States. We hear (a.d. 1373) 
of a King Tan ma-sa-na-ho — probably the 
King of Tamasak or Singapore. We hear also 
(a.d. 1374) of a King Ma-na-ha-pau-lin-pang 
— probably the King of Palembang. The 
King Tan-ma-sa-na-ho died in a.d. 1376, and 
.his successor, Ma~la-cha Wu-li, ordered the 
usual eirvoys to go to China, and was sent in 
return a seal and commission as King of San- 
bo-tsai. The Chinese annalist goes on to say : 

'' At that time, however, San-bo-tsai had 
already been conquered by Java, and the 
King of this country, hearing that the Emperor 
had appointed a king over San-bo-tsai, became 
very angry and sent men who waylaid and 
killed the Imperial envoys. The Enjperor did 
not think it right to punish him on this 
account. After this occurrence San-bo-tsai 
became gradually poorer, and no tribute was 
brought from this country any more." 

Chinese, Malay, and Javanese historical 
records all agree in referring to a great war 



of conquest carried on by the Javanese Empire 
of Majapahit and ending in the destruction of 
Singapore and Palembang, as well as in the 
temporary subjugation of many other Malay 
States, such as Pasai, Samudra, and even 
Kedah, Kelantan, Trengganu, and Pahang. 
The Chinese records enable us to definitely 
fix the date— A.D. 1377. It is a great landmark 
in Malay history, for the fugitives driven by the 
Javanese from Palembang and Singapore settled 
down in the peninsula and founded the famous 
city of Malacca. 

We come now to the founding of Singapore, 
which, although dealt with in our opening 
section, may be referred to at greater length 
in this survey of Malay history. The name of 
Singapiira was only an honorific title given 
to an island that was known and continued to 
be known as Tamasak. Of the existence of 
this old Malay State of Singapore or Tamasak 
there can be no doubt whatever, as Chinese, 
Siamese, Malay, and Javanese records agree 
upon the point. Of the fact that Singapore 
was a colony from Palembang there can also 
be no doubt, since both the Chinese and the 
Malay records bear out this version of the 
origin of the city. An inscription in the Kawi 
character was found by Raffles at Singapore, 
but it was blown up at a later date by a dis- 
creditable act of vandalism, and from the 
fragments left it is impossible to say definitely 
whether it was carved by the Palembang 
colonists or by the Javanese conquerors who 
destroyed the city in A.D. 1377. The "Malay 
Annals" tell us a good deal about the place, 
but tell us nothing that is really reliable. They 
say that Sang Nila Utama, the founder of the 
State, was driven to the island by a storm of 
wind, in the course of which he lost his royal 
crown — a story suggesting that the founder 
was not a reigning prince when he came to 
settle in the island, and that his followers had 
to invent a story to explain away his lack of 
the usual insignia of royalty. He was, how- 
ever, probably of r05'al blood, since the Chinese 
envoys were afterwards willing to recognise 
his descendants as rulers of Palembang. The 
" Annals " also tell us that five kings reigned in 
Singapore, as shown in the following table : 

If this pedigree is to be accepted, the old 
State of Singapore must have lasted for several 
generations, but the annalist who drew it up 
gave another pedigree to his friend, Xuru'ddin 
Raniri al-Hasanji, the author of the " Bustanu's 
salatin." The other pedigree is as follows : 

ends with the ominous words that the blood 
of the boy who saved the city from the sword- 
fish, and was put to death lest his cleverness 
should prove a public danger, rested upon the 
island as a .curse to be wiped out in days to 
come. The story of Tun Jana Khatib is the 

Raja Shkan 
(King of the East and West) 


Sang Sapurba 
(King of Menangkabau) 

Sang Baniaka 
(King of Tanjong Pura) 

Sang Nila Utama 
(First King of Singapore) 



Raja Kechil Besar 

(Paduka Sri PSkSrma diraja, 

second King of Singapore) 


Sri Rana Adikarma 

(Iskandar Shah, third King of 

Singapore and first of Malacca) 

Sultan Ahmad Shah 
(Second Sultan of Malacca) 

Raja Kechil Muda 

This second pedigree gives a much shorter 
life to the old State of Singapore, and (since it 
came from the same source as the other 
pedigree) shows that neither account can be 
considered altogether reliable. It also suggests 
its own inaccuracy, since " Iskandar Shah " is 
not a name that any non-Mahomedan prince 
of Singapore would have borne at that period. 
The probability is that the ancient kingdom of 
Tamasak was a mere off-shoot of the State 
of Palembang, that it did not last for any 
length of time, and that it came to a sudden 
and terrible end in the year of the great 
Javanese invasion, a.d. 1377. 

The account of Singapore in the " Malay 
Annals " is entirely mythical — from the open- 
ing tale about the lion that Sang Nila Utama 
discovered on the island down to the conclud- 
ing stories about the attack made by the 
sword-fish upon the city, and about the fate of 
Sang Ranjuna Tapa, the traitor who betrayed 
the city to the Javanese and was turned into 
stone as a punishment for his sin. Yet in all 
this mythical account there is a suggestion of 
infinite tragedy. The story of the sword-fish 

Raja Suran 
(King of the East and of the West) 

Sang Sapurba 
(King of Menangkabau) 

Nila Pahlawan 

Kisna Pandita 

Sang Maniaka 

Sang Nila Utama 
(First King of Singapore) 


Raja Kechil Besar 
(Peduka Sri Pikrama Wira, 
second King of Singapore) 


Raja Muda 

(Sri Rama Wirakrama, 

third King of Singapore) 


Paduka Sri Maharaja 

(Fourth King of Singapore) 

Raja Iskandar Dzu'l-karnain 

(Fifth and last King of Singapore 

and first Sultan of Malacca) 


Raja Kechil Muda 

(Tun Parapalih Parmuka 


Tun Parapatih Tulus 

tale of another awful deed of wrong. The last 
tale in the narrative is that of the injury which 
maddened Sang Ranjuna Tapa into treason — 
the cruel fate of his daughter, who was publicly 
impaled on a mere suspicion of infidelity to her 
lover, the King. More than once does the 
annalist seem to suggest the Nemesis that 
waits upon deeds of oppression. In the end 
the Javanese came ; the city was betrayed ; 
"blood flowed like water in full inundation, 
and the plain of Singapore is red as with blood 
to this day." A curse rented on the place. In 
A.D. i8ig, more than four centuries later. 
Colonel Farquhar found that not one of the 
people of the settlement dared ascend Fort 
Canning Hill, the "forbidden hill" that was 
haunted by the ghosts of long-forgotten kings 
and queens. The alien Chinese who now 
inhabit the town believe to this day that — for 
some reason unknown to them — a curse laid 
on the island in times long past makes it 
impossible to grow rice on it, rice being the 
staple food of the Malays. .All these legends 
seem to suggest that the fate of the ancient 
city must have been one of appalling horror. 
Many Malay towns have at different times 
been captured, many were doubtless captured 
by the Javanese in that very war of A.D. 1377, 
but in no other case has the fall of a city left 
such awful memories as to cause men four 
Centuries later to refuse to face the angry 
spectres that were believed to haunt so cruelly 
stricken a site. 

The fall of Singapore led to the rise of 
Malacca. A number of fugitives, headed (if the 
"Annals" are to be believed) by their king 
himself, established themselves at the mouth 
of the Malacca river, and founded a city that 
was destined to play a much greater part in 
history than the old unhappy settlement of 
Singapore itself. The "Annals," however, are 
not a safe guide. Although it is indeed prob- 
able that a party of refugees did do something 
to found the town of Malacca, it is extremely 
doubtful whether they were headed by the 
fugitive " Iskandar Shah." Be the facts as 
they may, the new town did not delay its rise 
very long. In A.D. 1403, as Chinese records 
tell us, the ruler or "Paramisura" of Malacca 

D * * 



sent envoys to China ; in a.d. 1405 he was 
recognised as King and received a seal, a suit 
of silk clothes, and a 5'ello\v umbrella from the 
Emperor ; in a.d. 141 i he travelled himself to 

gave us a real key to the chronology of the 
period. From these records it is quite clear 
that Singapore fell in a.d. 1377, and not in 
A.D. 1252, as the " Malay Annals " would 

to be identical with Xaquendarsa, and to have 
come to the throne in a.d. 1414, it will be fairly 
obvious that the Malay version allows too 
many generations between him and Mudzafar 


China and was most hospitably entertained. 
In the year 1414 the son of this Paramisura 
came to China to report his father's death, and 
to apply for recognition as his father's successor. 
This son's name is given in Chinese records as 
Mu-Kan-Sa-U-Tir-Sha. He died about the year 
1424, and was succeeded by his son, who is 
described in Chinese as Sri Mahala. 

At this point it is advisable to say something 
about Malay chronology. The dates given in 
Sir Frank Swettenham's " British Malaya," 
in the " Colonial Office List," in Valentyn's 
" History of Malacca," and in many other 
works, are all obtained from the " Malay 
Annals " by the simple process of adding to- 
gether the reputed lengths of the reigns of the 
various kings. Such a system is usually unreli- 
able. In the case of the " Malay Annals " the 
unreliability of the method can be proved by 
taking the history of ministers who served 
under several kings, and must have attained to 
impossible ages if the reign lengths are really 
accurate. The point was brought out clearly 
for the first time by Mr. C. O. Blagden in a 
paper read before an Oriental Congress in 
Paris. Mr. Blagden began by showing that 
the Malay dates were inaccurate, and then 
went on to prove that the Chinese records, 
though meagre and unreliable in many details. 

suggest. From the same source it may be 
shown that the various kings of Malacca 
reigned between the year 1400 and the year 
1511. But we are not in a position to prove 
conclusively who all these kings were. The 
royal names, as given to us by different authori- 
ties, are here shown in parallel columns : 

Shah, who seems to have been reigning in 
A.D. 1445. 

It is quite impossible to reconcile the lists ; 
but some facts may be inferred from what we 
know for certain. A Chinese work, the " Ying 
Yai Sheng Lan," dated a.d. 1416, speaks of the 
Malacca Malays as devoted Mahomedans, so 

Chinese Records. 
Palisura (1403-14) 
Mukansautirsha (1414-24) 
Sri Mahala (1424) 
Sri Mahala (1433) 

Sri Pamisiwartiupasha (1445) 

Sultan Wutafunasha (1456) 
Sultan 'Wangsusha (1459) 
Mahamusa (undated) 
Sultan Mamat (" who fled 
from the Franks") 

Albuquerque' s List. 





The great names of Malacca history are 
common to all three lists, but the minor names 
differ considerably. Those in the " Malay 
Annals " would naturally have been considered 
the most reliable, were it not that Mahomedan 
names like Iskandar Shah occurring before the 
Mahomedan period suggest the certainty of 
serious error. If also we take Iskandar Shah 

Malay Annals. 

Iskandar Shah 
Raja B^sar Muda 
Raja Tfngah 
Muhammad Shah 
Abu Shahid 
Mudzafar Shah 
Mansur Shah 
Alaedin Riayat Shah 

Mahmud Shah 

that it would seem that the conversion to Islam 
took place as early as the reign of the Para- 
misura, and not in the time of his grandson or 
great-grandson, Muhammad Shah. But the 
explanation that seems to clear up the difficul- 
ties most readily is the probability that the 
author of the pedigree in the " Malay Annals " 
confused the two Princes who bore the name 



of Raja Kfchil Besar, and also confused Sultan 
Ahmad with Sultan Muhammad. If the title 
Muhammad Shah and the conversion to Islam 


are ascribed to the first Rajah Kechil Besar 
instead of to the second, the difficulty of 
explaining the Mahomedan names of Iskandar 
Shah and Ahmad Shah disappears at once, and 
the pedigree is shortened to a reasonable 
length. The amended version would read as 
follows : 

Kaja Kechil Besar 

(Paramisura, Sultan Muhammad Shah) 

Iskandar Shah 

Raja Besar Muda 

(Ahmad Shah) 

Raja Kasim 

(Mudzafar Shah) 

Raja Abdullah 

(Mansur Shah) 

Raja Husain 

(Alaedin Riayat Shah I.) 

Raja Mahmud 
(Sultan Mahmud Shah). 

We can now pass to the reigns of these 
different kings. 

The Chinese account of Malacca, written in 
A.D. 1416, gives us a very convincing picture of 
the settlement. It tells us that the inhabitants 
paid very little attention to agriculture, that 

they were good fishermen, that they used dug- 
outs, that they possessed a currency of block 
tin, that they lived in very simple huts raised 
some four feet above the ground, that they 
traded in resins, tin, and jungle produce, that 
they made very good mats, and that " their 
language, their books, and their marriage 
ceremonies are nearly the same as those of 
Java." The town of Malacca was surrounded 
by a wall with four gates, and within this 
fortified area there was a second wall or 
stockade surrounding a store for money and 

This description bears out Albuquerque's 
statement that the town was created by the 
fusion of fugitives from Singapore with a local 
population of " Cellates " or Orang Laut, The 
men from Singapore brought their old Indo- 
Javanese civilisation, the language, the books, 
and the marriage ceremonies that were so 
closely akin to those of Java ; the Orang Laut 
were simply fishermen, living by the sea and 
using the rude dug-outs that impressed the 
Chinese historian. But there was a third 
element. The Chinese account tells us that 
the tin industry, both in trade and actual 
mining, was important. As this industry 
would be quite unknown to the Orang Laut 
and could hardly have been introduced from 
Singapore, we are left to infer that traders in 
tin had visited the country long before the 
advent of the Malays, and had taught the 
aborigines the value of the metal and the 
proper means of procuring it. These early 
traders were, in all probability, the Cambodian 
colonists whose homes in the north had just 
been conquered by the Siamese, but who — up 
to the fourteenth century — appear to have 
exercised some sort of dominion over the 
southern half of the peninsula. 

According to both Chinese and Portuguese 
records the first ruler of Malacca was a certain 
" Palisura " or "Paramisura"; but, unfortu- 
nately, this word only means king, and conse- 
quently gives us no clue either to the Hindu 
or to the Mahomedan name of the prince in 
question. It would seem waste of time to 
discuss points relating to mere names were 
it not that these issues help us to unravel the 
complex chronology of the period. Evei"y 
king — at this time of conversion — must have 
had a Hindu title before taking an Arabic name, 
so that serious errors may have been imported 
into genealogies by kings being counted twice 
over. Omitting the mythical elements, let us 
collate the first names of the four lists that we 
possess : 

Malay Annals. 

(1) Raja Kechil Bgsar, 
Paduka Sri Pekerma Wiraja. 

(2) Raja Muda, 

Sri Rana Wikrama. 

(3) Paduka Sri Maharaja. 

Bustanu's salatin. 

(1) Raja Kechil Besar, 
Paduka Sri Pekerma Diraja. 

(2) Sri Rana Adikerma, 
Sultan Iskandar Shah. 

(3) Raja Besar Muda, 
Sultan Ahmad Shah. 

(i) Palisura. 

(2) Mukansautirsha. 

(3) Sri Mahala. 

(i) Paramisura. 
(2) Xaquendarsa. 

The only point that we have to suggest is 
that these lists refer to the same men in the 
same order. If this is admitted, there is no 
difficulty in giving the pedigree of the Kings of 
Malacca ; but the acceptance of this view 
disposes at once of the theory that the line of 
the Malacca Kings covers the earlier dynasty of 
Singapore. The truth seems to be that the 
author of the " Malay Annals " had only the 
Malacca pedigree to work upon, but by attach- 
ing Singapore legends to the names of Malacca 
Kings he represented the genealogy as one 


which descended from the mythical Sang 
Sapurba of Palembang through the Kings of 
Singapore (whose very names he did not 



know), down to the family with which he was 
really acquainted. 

As Malay tradition seems to Insist that the 
first Mahomedan sovereign took the name 

stones, and with horses and saddles. His wife 
got a cap and dresses. 

" At the moment of starting he was enter- 
tained by the Emperor, and again got a girdle 


of Muhammad Shah, and as the Paramisura 
of Albuquerque was undoubtedly the first 
Mahomedan sovereign, we are justified in 
believing that the King Paduka Sri Pgkerma 
Diraja took the name Sultan Muhammad Shah 
on his conversion. He ascended the throne 
before a.d. 1403, but was first recognised 
by the Chinese Emperor in a.d. 1405. He 
visited China in a.d, 1411. The following is 
the account given of this visit in the records of 
the Ming dynasty : 

"In 1411 the King came with his wife, son, 
and ministers — 540 persons in all. On his 
arrival the Emperor sent officers to receive 
him. He was lodged in the building of the 
Board of Rites, and was received in audience 
by, the Emperor, who entertained him in 
person, whilst his wife and the others were 
entertained in another place. Every day 
bullocks, goats, and wine were sent him from 
the imperial buttery. The Emperor gave the 
King two suits of clothes embroidered with 
golden dragons and one suit with unicorns ; 
furthermore, gold and silver articles, curtains, 
coverlets, mattresses — everything complete. 
His wife and his suite also got presents. 

" When they were going away the King was 
presented with a girdle adorned with precious 

with precious stones, saddled horses, 100 ounces 
of gold, 40,000 dollars (kwan) in paper money, 
2,600 strings of cash, 300 pieces of silk gauze, 
1,000 pieces of plain silk, and two pieces of silk 
with golden flowers." 

It is not surprising that kings were willing to 
" pay tribute " to China. 

The policy of Muhammad Shah seems to 
have been to ally himself with the Mahomedan 
States and with the Chinese, and to resist the 
Siamese, who were at that time laying claim to 
the southern part of the peninsula. As the 
Siamese had conquered the Cambodian princi- 
palities that had sent mining colonies to the 
Southern States, the King of Siam had a certain 
claim to consider himself the suzerain of 
Malacca. But the claim was a very shadowy 
one. The fall of the Cambodian kingdoms in 
the north seems to have killed the Cambodian 
colonies in the south. The Siamese themselves 
had never exercised any authority over Malacca. 
The very title assumed by the Siamese King — 
" Ruler of Singapore, Malacca, and Malayu " — 
shows how very little he knew about the 
countries that he claimed to own. Nevertheless 
Siam was a powerful State, and its fleets and 
armies were a constant menace to the prosperity 
of the growing settlement of Malacca. 

The Paramisura Muhammad Shah died about 
A.D. 1414. He was succeeded by his son, Sri 
Rakna Adikerma, who took the title of Sultan 
Iskandar Shah— the Xaquendarsa of the Portu- 
guese and the Mukansutirsha of the Chinese 
records. This prince, who reigned ten years, 
paid two visits to China during his reign, one 
visit in A.D. 1414, and the other in a.d. 1419. 
He pursued his father's defensive policy of 
alliances against the Siamese. 

Sultan Iskandar Shah died in a.d. 1424. He 
was succeeded by his son, Raja Besar Muda, 
who bore the Hindu title of Paduka Sri Maha- 
raja, and assumed the Mahomedan name of 
Sultan Ahmad Shah. This ruler is not men- 
tioned by the Portuguese, but he appears in 


Chinese records as Sri Mahala. He seems to 
appear twice — perhaps three times — in the 
" Malay Annals ": first as Paduka Sri Maharaja, 
son of Sri Rakna Adikerma (Iskandar Shah's 



Hindu title), and secondly as Raja Besar Muda, 
son of Iskandar Shah. He is also confused 
with Muhammad Shah, whose place he ought 
to be given in the pedigree. It is therefore 
dilMcult to say whether he or the first King 
of Malacca ought to be credited with the 
numerous rules and regulations drawn up for 
the guidance of Malay courtiers, and given at 
great length in the " Malay Annals " as the 
work of " Muhammad Shah." In any case, 
from this time forward the use of yellow was 
confined to men of royal birth, the most rigid 
etiquette was enforced at all court ceremonies, 
the relative precedence of officers was fixed, 
and other rules were made regarding the 
proper attire and privileges of courtiers. The 
author of the " Malay Annals " discusses all 
these points at great length, but European 
students are not likely to take much interest 
in them. Happy is the country that has no 
more serious troubles than disputes about 
etiquette ! The first three Sultans of Malacca 
must have governed well to bring about such a 
result as this. 

Sultan Ahmad Shah (Paduka Sri Maharaja) 
died about the year 1444.. His death was 
followed by a sort of interregnum, during 
which the reins of power were nominally held 
by his son. Raja Ibrahim, or Raja Itam, after- 
wards known as Abu Shahid, because of his 
unhappy death. This interregnum ended in a 
sudden revolution, in which Raja Ibrahim lost 
his life, and Raja Kasim, his brother, came to 
the throne under the name of Sultan Mudzafar 
Shah, the Modafaixa of the Portuguese and the 
Sultan Wu-ta-funa-sha of Chinese records. 
The new ruler began his reign in the usual 
manner by sending envoys to China, but he 
did not go himself to pay his respects to the 
Emperor. He had to wage war against the 
Siamese, who seem at last to have made some 
sort of effort to enforce their claim to suzerainty 
over the south of the peninsula. Malay records 
are not very trustworthy, and we need not 
believe all that they tell us about victories over 
the Siamese ; but we can see from the change 
in the policy of the State of Malacca that it 
must have been successful in its campaigns 
against its northern foe, since the Malays, 
suddenly becoming aggressive, carried the 
war into the enemy's country. From this 
time onwards the town of Malacca becomes 
a capital instead of an entire State. 

Mudzafar Shah died about the year 1459 a.d. 
According to Portuguese authorities he con- 
quered Pahang, Kampar, and Indragiri ; but, 
if the "Malay Annals" are to be believed, the 
honour of these conquests rests with his son 
and successor, Mansur Shah. Sultan Mansur 
Shah, we are told, began his reign by sending 
an expedition to attack Pahang. After giving 
a good descriptive account of this country, with 
its broad and shallow river, its splendid sandy 
beaches, its alluvial gold workings, and its huge 
wild cattle, the " Malay Annals" go on to say 
that the ruler of Pahang was a certain Maha- 
raja Dewa Sura, a relative of the King of Siam. 
Chinese records also say that the country was 
ruled by princes who bore Sanskrit titles, and 
who must have been either Buddhist or Hindu 
by religion ; but they add that the people were 
in the habit — otherwise unknown in Malaya — 
of offering up human sacrifices to their idols 

of fragrant wood. Their language also does 
not seem to have been Malayan. Pahang was 
conquered after very little resistance, and its 
prince, Maharaja Dewa Sura, was brought 
captive to Malacca. Of the expeditions against 
Kampar and Indragiri we know nothing except 
that they were successful. 

court, and to his being sent to rule over 
Pahang alone, under the title of Sultan Mu- 
hammad Shah. By a Javanese wife the Sultan 
had one son, Radin Geglang, who succeeded 
his stepbrother as heir to the throne, and was 
afterwards killed while trying to stop a man 
who ran amuck. By a daughter of his chief 


Sultan Mansur Shah married five wives. By 
a daughter of the conquered Maharaja Dewa 
Sura he had two sons, one of whom he desig- 
nated as heir to the throne ; but a murder 
committed by the prince in a moment of 
passion led to his being banished from the 

minister, the Bendahara, the SuUan left a son, 
Raja Husain, who ultimately succeeded him. 
By a Chinese wife the SuUan left descendants 
who established themselves as independent 
princes at Jeram, in Selangor. By his fifth 
wife, the daughter of a chief (Sri Xara Diraja), 



the Sultan only had two daughters. The fol- 
lowing table shows how the kingdom of 
Malacca was divided up ; 

severe conflict, in which most of his relatives 
were slain. But that is not the account given 
us in the " Malay Anoalii." The proud chief is 


Raja Ahmad 

(Sultan Muhammad Shah 

of Pahang) 

Raja Kasim 
(Sultan Madzafar Shah) 


Raja Abdullah 

(Sultan Mansur Shah) 


Paduka Mimat 
(whose family ruled 
in Jeram) 

Raja Husain 

(Sultan Alaedin Riayat Shah I. 

of Malacca) 

Raja Menawar 

(Sultan Menawar Shah of 



Raja Muhammad 

(Sultan Mahmud Shah of 


The policy of war and conquest initiated by 
Mudzafar Shah and Mansur Shah was a fatal 
one to a trading port like Malacca. It turned 
the Malays into a sort of military aristocracy, 
living on the trade of the foreign settlers in 
their city. Trade is not, however, killed in a 
day. The foreign merchants ffom India and 
China, though they continued to frequent the 
harbour of Malacca, began to look upon the 
Sultan and his people as a mere burden on 
the town — as indeed they were. The Sultan 
needed money for his pleasures, his followers, 
and his wars ; he increased his exactions from 
year to year. But for the coming of the Portu- 
guese, the fate of Malacca would ultimately 
have been the same as that of Pasai, Samudra, 
Perlak, and the other trading ports that enjoyed 
at various times a temporary spell of prosperity 
as emporia in the Eastern seas. Even as it 
was, Albuquerque found the foreign settlers 
in the citj' perfectly willing to rise in revolt 
against their Malay masters. 

Mansur Shah was succeeded by his son, Raja 
Husain, who took the name of Alaedin Riayat 
Shah. This Prince is said by the Portuguese 
to have been poisoned at the instigation of the 
rulers of Pahang and Indragiri. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son, Sultan Mahmud Shah, the 
last of the Kings of Malacca. Sultan Mahmud 
Shah seems to have been a weak ruler, who 
gave himself up to his pleasures, and ultimately 
delegated all his powers to his son, the Prince 
Alaedin, whom he raised to sovereign rank 
under the name of Ahmad Shah. The most 
important event in his reign — apart from the 
Portuguese conquest — was the mysterious revo- 
lution of A.D. 1510, in which the most powerful 
chief in Malacca, the Bendahara Sri Maharaja, 
lost his hfe. This event is mentioned by Albu- 
querque, and is described with great vividness 
by the author of the " Malay Annals," who, 
being a member of the Bendahara's family, 
was extremely anxious to represent his great 
ancestor's case in the best possible light. 
According to his story, one of the great 
ministers of state was induced, by a very 
heavy bribe, to bring a false charge of treason 
against the Bendahara —"for there is truth in 
the saying, ' Gold, thou art not God, yet art 
thou the almighty ' " — and the Sultan was 
tempted by an illicit passion for the Benda- 
hara's daughter into consenting to his min- 
ister's death — " Love knows no limitation and 
passion no consideration." It is probable that 
the great minister was only overthrown after a 

said to have consented to die rather than lift a 
finger in opposition to the King : " It is the 
glory of the Malay that he is ever faithful to 
his ruler." The Sultan's messenger approached 
and presented him with a silver platter, on 
which rested the sword of execution. " God 
calls you to His presence," said the messenger. 
" I bow to the Divine will," said the Bendahara. 
Such was said to have been his end, but there 
is a curious epilogue to this tale of loyalty. In 
A.D. 1699 the last Prince of the royal line of 
Malacca was slain by his Bendahara, the lineal 
representative of the murdered minister of 
A.D. 1510, and of his successor and champion 
thecourtly author of the " Malay Annals." It is 
therefore quite possible that the Bendahara of 
A.D. 1510 was only conspiring to do what the 
Bendahara of a.d. 1699 eventually succeeded in 


The Portuguese Ascendancy. 

The famous expedition of Vasco da Gama, 
the first European navigator to appear in the 
Eastern seas, took place in 1498. Within ten 
years Da Gama had been followed to the East 
by many other famous adventurers — Francisco 
de Albuquerque, Alfonso de Albuquerque, Fran- 
cisco de Almeida, Tristano d'Acunha, Jorge de 
Mello, and Jorge de Aguyar. In 1508 the whole 
of the Portuguese " empire " in the East was 
divided into two viceroyalties, one stretching 
from Mozambique to Diu in India, the other 
from Diu to Cape Comorin. Francisco de 
Almeida was appointed Viceroy of Africa, 
Arabia, and Persia ; Alfonso de Albuquerque 
was Viceroy of India. Two other Admirals 
were sent out in that year to carve out vice- 
royalties for themselves. Of these two, one 
— Diego Lopez de Sequeira — was destined for 
Malaya. He left the Tagus with four ships 
on April 5, 1508, sailed to Cochin (the head- 
quarters of the Indian Viceroy), borrowed a 
ship from the Portuguese fleet at that port, 
and finally, in August, 1509, sailed to Malacca. 
As soon as Sequeira cast anchor in the 
harbour a boat put off from the shore to ask 
him, in the name of the Bendahara, who he 
was and why he came. The Portuguese 
Admiral answered that he was an envoy from 
the King of Portugal with gifts for the Sultan 
of Malacca. Messages then seem to have been 
interchanged for several days, and ultimately 

a Portuguese of good position, one Teixeira, 
was sent ashore and conducted to the palace 
on an elephant. He handed the Sultan an 
Arabic letter signed by Emmahuel, King of 
Portugal ; he also gave the Malay ruler some 
presents. This interview was followed by the 
usual interchange of compliments and friendly 
assurances ; permission to trade was given, 
and, finally, Teixeira was conducted in honour 
back to his ship. 

But in the town of Malacca all was excite- 
ment. The wealthy Indian merchants could 
hardly have viewed with equanimity the 
presence of strangers who threatened them 
with the loss of their trade. The suspicious 
rulers of the city feared the powerful fleet of 
Sequeira. The Bendahara wished to attack 
the Portuguese at once ; the Laksamana and 
the Temenggong hesitated. The Sultan in- 
vited the strangers to a feast — perhaps with 
the intention of murdering them ; Sequeira, 
with d. rudeness that may have been wise, 
refused the dangerous invitation. Meanwhile 
the Bendahara's party had begun to collect a 
small flotilla behind Cape Rachado so as to be 
ready for all emergencies. The position was 
one of great tension. The Portuguese who 
landed at Malacca do not seem to have been 
molested, but they could hardly have failed to 
notice the nervous hostility of the populace. 
The " Malay Annals " — written a century later 
— contain echoes of this old feeling of fear and 
dislike of the strangers, the popular wonder at 
these " white-skinned Bengalis," the astonish- 
ment at the blunt bullet that pierced so sharply, 
the horror at the blunders in etiquette com- 
mitted by the well-meaning Portuguese. " Let 
them alone, they know no manners," said the 
Sultan, when his followers wished to cut down 
a Portuguese who had laid hands on the sacred 
person of the King in placing a collar round 
his neck. At such a time very little provoca- 
tion would have started a conflict ; a mis- 
understanding probably brought it about. 
Suspecting the crews of the Malay boats of 
wishing to board the Portuguese vessels, a 
sentry gave an alarm. A panic at once 
arose ; the Malays on deck sprang overboard ; 
the Portuguese fired their guns. Sequeira 
avoided any further action in the hope of 
saving those of his men who were on shore 
at the time, but the sudden appearance of the 
Malay flotilla from behind Cape Rachado 
forced his hand. The Portuguese sailed out 
to meet this new enemy and so lost the chance 
of rescuing the stragglers. When they re- 
turned it was too late. The city was now 
openly hostile ; the Europeans on shore had 
been taken ; the fleet was not strong enough 
to take the town unaided. After wasting some 
days in useless negotiations, Sequeira had to 
sail away. His expedition had been an utter 
failure. After plundering a few native ships 
he sent two of his own fleet to Cochin, and 
returned to Portugal without making any 
attempt to redeem his mistakes. 

King Emmanuel of Portugal was not the 
man to submit tamely to a disaster of this 
sort. Fitting out three more ships under 
Diego Mendez de Vasconcellos, he sent them 
—in March, 1510— to organise a fresh attack 
on Malacca. This fleet was diverted by the 
Viceroy de Albuquerque to assist him in his 



Indian wars; but in May, ijii, the great 
Viceroy himself set out to attack Malacca, 
taking 19 ships, 800 European troops, and 600 
Malabar sepoys. He first sailed to Pedir, in 
Sumatra. There he found a Portuguese named 
Viegas, one of Sequeira's men, who had 

that was bearing the news of his approach to 
Malacca. He caught this vessel and slew its 
captain. Still sailing on, he captured a large 
Indian trading ship, from which he learnt 
that the rest of Sequeira's men were still alive 
and in bondage to the Malays, the leading man 

escaped from captivity in Malacca and who 
reported that there were other Portuguese 
fugitives at Pasai. The Viceroy sailed to 
Pasai and picked them up. He was well 
received by the people of Pasai, but he sailed 
on at once in order to overtake a native ship 

among them being one Ruy d'Aranjo, a per- 
sonal friend of the Viceroy. On July T, 
1511, Albuquerque and his fleet of nineteen 
ships sailed into the roadstead at Malacca 
with trumpets sounding, banners waving, 
guns firing, and with every demonstration 

that might be expected to overawe the junks 
in the harbour and the warriors in the town. 
At the sight of the powerful Portuguese fleet 
the native vessels in the roadstead attempted 
to flee, but the Viceroy, who feared that any 
precipitate action on his part might lead to the 
murder of his fellow-countrymen in the town, 
ordered the ships to stay where they vi'ere, and 
assured them that he had no piratical inten- 
tions. The captains of three large Chinese 
junks in the harbour then visited the Por- 
tuguese Admiral and offered to assist him in 
attacking the town ; they, too, had grievances 
against the port authorities. The captain of a 
Gujerat trading ship also came with a similar 
tale. Early on the following day there came 
envoys from the Sultan to say that the Malay 
ruler had always been friendly to the King of 
Portugal, and that his wicked Bendahara — who 
had recently been put to death — was entirely 
responsible for the attack on Sequeira. Albu- 
querque made every effort to impress the 
envoys with a sense of his power, but he 
replied with the simple answer that no 
arrangement was possible until the prisoners 
had been released. The prisoners were, 
indeed, the key of the situation. The Admiral 
was sure (hat any attack on the town would 
be the signal for them to be massacred ; the 
Sultan vaguely felt that to give them up would 
be to surrender a powerful weapon of defence. 
So the days passed ; the Malays were arming, 
the Portuguese were examining the roadstead 
with a view to devising a good plan of attack, 
but neither side did any overt act of hostility. 
At the Malacca Court itself the usual divided 
counsels prevailed, the war party being led by 
the Sultan's eldest son and by the Sultan's son- 
in-law, the Prince of Pahang. After seven 
days of futile negotiations a man from the 
town slipped on board the Admiral's ship with 
a letter from Ruy d'Aranjo, the most important 
of the prisoners, strongly advising Albuquerque 
to abandon all idea of rescuing them and to 
begin the attack without further delay. The 
Viceroy was not prepared to take advantage 
of this heroic offer of self-sacrifice on the 
prisoners' part, but he felt that his present 
policy could lead to nothing. By way of a 
demonstration, he burnt some of the Malay 
shipping in the harbour and bombarded a 
few of the finer residences on the seaside. 
The demonstration produced an unexpected 
result : Ruy d'Aranjo was at once released. 
He brought with him the news that many of 
the townspeople were hostile to the Sultan 
and would be prepared to turn against the 
Malays should the opportunity present itself. 
This information probably settled the fate of 
the city. 

More negotiations followed. Albuquerque 
asked for permission to build a fortified factory 
in the town of Malacca, so that Portuguese 
merchants might be able to trade there in 
peace and safety ; he also asked for the return 
of the booty taken from Sequeira, and for an 
indemnity of 300,000 cruzados (about ;£33,50o). 
He found that the Sultan was not indisposed 
to make concessions, but that the younger 
chiefs were clamorous for war. Ultimately, 
as often happens in Malay councils, the Sultan 
decided to stand aside and to let the opposing 
parties — the Portuguese and the Princes — 



fight it out. He himself stood on the defensive 
and refused either to malce concessions or to 
lead an attack. As soon as tliis decision was 
arrived at, the Prince Alaedin and the Sultan 
of Pahang set about the defence of the town, 
while the Javanese communities seem to have 
assured the Admirals that the coming conflict 
was no concern of theirs, and that they were, if 
anything, well disposed to the Portuguese. 
In order to understand the plan of attack, it 


is necessary to appreciate the difference between 
the Malacca of 1511 and the Malacca of the 
present time. It is often supposed that the 
harbour has silted up and that the conditions 
cannot be reproduced, but it should be remem- 
bered (hat the Portuguese ships were small 
vessels of light draught that could lie much 
closer to the shore than the deep-draughted 
steamers of to-day. The great change that has 
come over the harbour is due to the shifting of 
the river channel after it enters the sea. The 
old maps of Malacca show that the Malacca 
river on reaching its mouth turned sharply to 
the right, and had scooped out a comparatively 
deep channel very close to the northern shore, 
where the houses — then as now — were thickly 
clustered. This channel was the old harbour 
of Malacca ; it enabled light-draught ships to 
lie very close to the land, and it explains how 
the Portuguese with their guns of little range 
could succeed in bombarding the houses on 
the shore. Landing was, however, another 
matter. The deep mud-banks made it ex- 
tremely difficult to land under cover of the 
guns of the fleet ; the true landing-place, 
then as now, lay just inside the river itself. 
Above the landing-place, then as now, 
there was a bridge, but the old Malay bridge 
was a little further up the river than the 
present structure. This bridge, since it com- 
manded the landing-place and maintained 
communications between the two sections of 
the town, was the key of the whole situation. 
Both sides realised how matters stood. The 
Malays strongly fortified the bridge, and 
stationed upon it a force of picked men under 
an Indian mercenary named Tuan Bandam. 
The high ground immediately to the south of 

the river — St. Paul's Hill, as it is now called — 
was the true Malay citadel. It was covered 
with the houses of the principal adherents of 
the Sultan, and was the site of the Sultan's 
palace itself. It protected the bridge, and 
was garrisoned by the followers of the war 
party, the Prince Alaedin and the Sultan of 
Pahang. It was felt by all that the landing- 
places and the bridge would be the centre of 
the coming struggle. 

Behind all this show of Malay strength there 
was, however, very little true power. The 
Malays themselves were nothing more than a 
military garrison living on the resources of 
an alien community. The trading town of 
Malacca was divided up into quarters under 
foreign headmen. The Javanese of Gersek 
held Bandar Hilir to the south of the river ; 
the Javanese and Sundanese from Japara and 
Tuban held Kampong Upeh to the north of the 
river. The Indian merchants also possessed 
a quarter of their own. These alien merchants 
did not love the Malays. All they wanted was 
to trade in peace ; at the first sign of a struggle 
they began to remove their goods to places of 
safety, and had to be forcibly prevented from 
fleeing inland. The Sultan of Pahang with 
his fire-eating followers was not a very reliable 
ally ; he had no real interest in the war. The 
conflict ultimately resolved itself into a trial of 
strength between the personal retainers of the 
Sultan and the 1,400 soldiers of Albuquerque, 
but the advantage of position was all on the 
side of the Malays. 

The Viceroy's preparations for attack lasted 
several days. He spent his time in tampering 
with the loyalty of the Javanese and other 
foreign communities, and in constructing a 
floating battery of very light draught to enter 
the river and bombard the bridge. This 
battery was not altogether a success. It 
grounded at the very mouth of the river, and 
was exposed for nine days and nights to inces- 

and forced the floating battery up to a more 
commanding position, whence it made short 
work of the bridge itself. The battery had now 
done its work and had made communication 
between the two banks of the river less ready 
than it had previously been, but the fight was 


sant attacks from both b.mks. Its commander, 
Antonio d'Abreu, had his teeth shot away at 
the very first attack, but he stuck doggedly to 
his post and saved the battery from capture. 
At last Albuquerque landed a strong force, 
obtained temporary possession of both banks, 


(The "tree " shows how Malay tin coins are cast. 
The hole in the cash is square.) 

by no means over. The Prince Alaedin and his 
men furiously attacked the landing party and 
were only beaten off after the Portuguese had 
lost 80 men in killed and wounded. The Viceroy 
tried to follow up his success by attacking the 
mosques and palace on St. Paul's Hill. Be- 
wildered in a maze of buildings, the Portuguese 
again suffered heavy loss, and had to beat a 
confused retreat to their landing-place. There 
they entrenched themselves and were able to 
hold their own. Their only substantial success 
had been the capture of the outworks built by 
the Malays to protect the landing-places ; the 
fortifications of the bridge itself were still un- 

The next attack took place on St. James's 
Day, July 24, 15:1. The Viceroy landed bodies 
of men on both banks of the river and advanced 
again upon the bridge. The Portuguese on the 
south bank were furiously attacked by a Malay 
force of about seven hundred men, headed by the 
Sultan in person. The battle appears to have 
been a very terrible one, and to have raged 
principally about the south end of the bridge, 
where the high ground of the hill approaches 
nearest to the river. From their vantage 
ground on the slopes, and under cover of their 
buildings, the Malays poured an incessant stream 
of poisoned darts upon the Portuguese, who 
replied by burning the houses and endeavouring 
to drive the Malays out of their cover. En- 
cumbered with armour and weapons, the Portu- 
guese found that the heat of the fire was more 



than they could resist. To add to their troubles, 
the Lalcsamana Hang Tuah brought down a 
flotilla of boats and fireships that harassed the 
flanks and threatened the communications of 
the Viceroy's force^. Albuquerque decided to 
retreat. He retireid to his ships, taking with 
him 70 of his men who had been struck 
down with poisoned darts ; of these 70 men 
twelve died, and the rest suffered from con- 
stantly recurring pain for a long period of 
time. The Malay losses will never be known. 
The Sultan of Pahang, whose houses had been 
burnt and whose property had been plundered, 
left his father-in-law in the lurch and returned 
to his own country. The iire-eating youths of 
Malacca, who had egged on their .Sultan to 
war, had now had enough of the fighting. The 
foreign merchants had learnt that their Malay 
masters were not necessarily omnipotent. 
Although the Viceroy had been consistently 
repulsed, his very pertinacity had practically 
secured the victory. When he landed again 
on the following day all organised resistance 
was over. The foreign subjects of the Sultan 
refused to expose their lives in a hopeless cause 
that was not their own. The Sultan's retainers 
found that the profit of war was not worth its 
risks. The Sultan himself fled. A few untam- 
able spirits like the Laksamana continued to 
carry on a guerilla warfare against the Portu- 
guese, but with no real hope of success. The 
foreigners all submitted — first the Peguans, then 
the various sections of the Javanese community ; 
they even joined the Portuguese Under the 
brothers De Andrade in an expedition to destroy 
the stockades of the Prince Alaedin. After this 
the Malay Prince saw the futility of further 
resistance ; he followed his father in his flight 
to the interior. A few scattered bands of out- 
laws represented all that was left of the famous 
Malay kingdom of Malacca. 

The spoils taken by the Portuguese are not 
exactly known. According to some authorities, 
the value of the plunder was SOi°oo cruzados, 
or about ;^6,ooo ; others say that this only 
represented the King's share of the spoil. It 
was also said that several thousand cannon — 
either 3,000 or 8,000 — were captured. This ex- 
pression may refer to mere firearms, but it 
must be enormously exaggerated even with 
this limitation. The Malay forces were very 
small, and they inflicted most damage with 
poisoned darts. Moreover, we are specially 
told that Albuquerque sent home as his only 
important trophies one or two cannon of Indian 
make and some Chinese images of lions. Had 
it not been for the foreign elements in the 
population of the town of Malacca, the capture 
of the city would have been an act of useless 
folly. As it was, the victory was a valuable 
one. It substituted a Portuguese for a Malay 
ruling class without destroying the trade- 
tradition of the place. It gave the Portuguese 
a- naval base, a trading centre, and a citadel 
that they could easily hold against any attacks 
that the Malays might organise. 

The Viceroy could not afford to garrison 
Malacca with the force that had sufficed to 
take it. He had captured it with the whole 
of the available forces of Portuguese India — 
ig ships, 800 European soldiers, and 600 sepoys. 
If anything was needed to show the unreality 
of the wealth and power ascribed by some 

imaginative writers to these old Malayan 
"empires" or "kingdoms," it would be the 
insignificance of the Portuguese garrisons 
that held their own against all attacks and 
even organised small punitive expeditions in 
reply. The loss of ten or twelve Portuguese 
was a disaster of the first magnitude to the 
" captain " in charge of the town and fort of 
Malacca. A small Portuguese reverse on the 
Muar river — when the gallant Ruy d'Aranjo 
was killed — enabled the Laksamana Hang 
Tuah to entrench himself on the Malacca 
river and to "besiege" the town. This 
famous Malay chief, whose name still lives in 
the memory of his countrymen, was a man of 
extraordinary energy and resource. He fought 
the Portuguese by sea, in the narrows of the 
Singapore Straits ; he surprised them off Cape 
Rachado ; he harassed the town of Malacca 
from the upper reaches of its own river ; he 
intrigued with the allies of the Portuguese ; 
he even induced a Javanese fleet to threaten 
Malacca. This indefatigable fighter died as he 


had lived, desperately warring against the 
enemies of his race. With his death, and with 
the destruction in 1526 of the Sultan's new 
stronghold on the island of Bintang, the Malay 
power was utterly destroyed. From 1511 to 
1605 the Portuguese were the real masters of 
the Straits. 

The history of Malacca from the date of 
Sequeira's expedition (a.d. 1509) to the time 
when it was captured by the Dutch (a.d. 1641) 
reads like a romance. It is associated with 
great names like those of Camoens and St. 
Francis Xavier ; it is the story of desperate 
sieges and of the most gallant feats of arms. 
Tradition has it that once when the garrison 
had fired away their last ounce of powder in 
the course of a desperate battle against the 
Achinese, the suspicious-seeming silence of 
the grim fortress terrified the enemy into flight. 
We are not, however, concerned with the 
romance of its history so much as with its 
pohtical aspect. There is something significant 
in the very titles of the officials of Malacca. 
The Portuguese Governor of Malacca was 
its " captain," the heads of the native com- 

munities were "captains" too. Indeed, Albu- 
querque went so far as to appoint the Javanese 
headman, Ultimuti Raja, his bendahara. The 
high officials of the Dutch bore trading names 
such as " first merchant " or " second mer- 
chant " ; the civil servants of our own East 
India Company were " writers." There is no 
arrogance about any of these descriptions ; 
they only showed what their bearers really 
were. What, then, are we to make of titles 
such as those of the " Viceroy of Africa, 
Arabia, and Persia " and the " Viceroy of 
India " ? They hardly represented realities ; did 
they symbolise any national policy or ambition ? 
The aim of all the European Powers in the 
Far East — whether Portuguese or Dutch or 
English — was to capture the rich trade of these 
countries. Sequeira asked for permission to 
trade ; Albuquerque asked for permission to 
build a fortified factory at Malacca ; the East 
India Companies of the Dutch and English were 
merely trading concerns. Yet there was this 
difference. The imperial idea — which, in the 
case of the Dutch and English, took centuries 
to develop — seems to have existed from the 
very first in the minds of the Portuguese. It 
was not the imperialism of the present clay ; 
Albuquerque did not seek to administer, even 
when he claimed suzerainty. He allowed his 
Asiatic subjects a wide measure of self-govern- 
ment under their own " captains " in the very 
town of Malacca itself. Although he did not, 
indeed, try to administer, he tried to dominate. 
The Portuguese power would brook no rival. 
The garrisons were small — they were not 
sufficient to hold any tract of country — but the 
striking force of the viceroyalty was sufficient 
to destroy any trading port that refused to bow 
to the wishes of the Portuguese or that set 
itself up in irreconcilable hostility against them. 
Again and again — at Kampar, in the island of 
Bintang, and on the shores of the Johore river 
— did the Portuguese expeditions harry the 
fugitives of the old Malay kingdom and destroy 
the chance of a native community rising to 
menace their fortified base at Malacca. What 
they did in these Straits they also did on the 
shores of India and Africa. The titles of the 
old Portuguese Viceroys were not misnomers, 
though they did not bear the administrative 
significance that we should now attach to 
them. The Portuguese fleet did really domin- 
ate the East. The weakness of this old Portu- 
guese " empire" lay in the fact thatit could not 
possibly survive the loss of sea-power. It 
consisted — territoriallj' — of a few naval bases 
that became a useless burden when the com- 
mand of the sea passed into the hands of the 
English and Dutch. The fall of Malacca may 
be truly said to date from a.d. 1606, when the 
Dutch Admiral Cornells Matelief gained a 
decisive, victory over the Portuguese fleet in 
the Straits of Malacca. From that time for- 
ward the doom of the town was sealed. Trade 
went with the command of the sea ; apart 
from lis trade, Malacca had no sufficient 
revenue and became a useless burden to the 
Viceroys of Goa. Portuguese pride did indeed 
induce the Viceroys at first to send expeditions 
to the relief of their beleaguered countrvmen 
in the famous fortress, but as siege succeeded 
siege it became obvious that the fate of the city 
was only a question of time. It fell in 1641. 



After Sultan JIahmud had been driven out 
of Malacca he fled to Batu Hampar, while his 
son, the Prince Alaedin, built a stockade at 
Pagoh. Pagoh was soon taken by the Portu- 
guese. The Malay Princes then took refuge 
for a time in Pahang, after which they estab- 
lished themselves far up the Johore river, where 
they were relatively safe from attack. Settle- 
ments far up a river are, however, of very 
little use either for trade or piracy, so — as 
the Malays regained confidence — they moved 
southwards and established themselves on the 
island of Bintang, Sultan Mahmud at Tebing 
Tinggi and the Prince Alaedin at Batu Pela- 
bohan. This Prince Alaedin had been raised 
to sovereign rank and bore the title of Sultan 
Ahmad Shah, to the great confusion of historical 
records, which confuse him both with his 
father. Sultan Mahmud, and with his brother, 
who afterwards bore the name of Sultan 
Alaedin. In any case the Sultan Ahmad died 
at Batu Pelabohan and was buried at Bukit 
Batu in Bintang ; if Malay rumour is to be 
believed, he was poisoned by his jealous 
father. Sultan Mahmud then installed his 
younger son as Raja Muda, but did not confer 
on him 'the sovereign dignity borne by the 
murdered Ahmad Shah. After this, the Sultan 
moved his headquarters to Kopak. There 
another son was born to him, this time by his 
favourite wife. Tun Fatimah, the daughter of 
the famous Bendahara who had so bitterly 
opposed Sequeira. This child was given the 
title of Raja Kechil Besar, and was afterwards 
allowed (through his mother's influence) to 
take precedence of his elder brother, the Raja 
Muda, and to be raised to sovereign rank as the 
Sultan Muda or Sultan Alaedin Riayat Shah II. 
Meanwhile the Malay settlement at Kopak had 
increased sufficiently in importance to attract 
the notice of the Portuguese. In 1526 it was 
surprised by the Viceroy Mascarenhas, who 
utterly destroj'ed it. Sultan Mahmud, again a 
fugitive, took refuge at Kampar in Sumatra. 
By a high-handed act of policy the Portuguese 
had just, abducted the ruler of Kampar and had 
thereby incurred the deadly hostiUty of the 
inhabitants of that Sumatran port. The aged 
Sultan Mahmud was welcomed and was recog- 
nised as sovereign in the absence of the local 
chief. He died shortly afterwards, leaving the 
throne to his son, Alaedin Riayat Shah II. 
The new Sultan was not left in peace by the 
Portuguese. Driven out of Kampar, he ulti- 
mately settled at a place on the Johore river. 
He died there and was succeeded by his son, 
the Raja Muda Perdana, who took the title of 
Sultan Mudzafar Shah 11. This Mudzafar 
Shah established himself at Seluyut (Johore 
Lama) but he had outlying stations on the 
trade routes. At a later date these stations 
were destined to become important. 

The Sultans of Perak claim descent from a 
" Sultan Mudzafar Shah," an elder son of the 
Sultan Mahmud who was driven from Malacca 
by the Portuguese. The present Sultan of 
Perak has asserted that this '' Sultan Mudzafar 
Shah" went to Perak because he had been 
passed over for the succession by his younger 
brother. If this tradition is correct, the 
" Sultan Mudzafar Shah " of Perak would 
not be the poisoned Alaedin (Sultan Ahmad 
Shah), but the young Raja Muda, who was set 

aside by his father in favour of the Raja Kechil 
Besar, afterwards Alaedin Riayat Shah II. 
All that we know about this member of the 
royal line is that he married a daughter of 
Tun Fatimah by her first husband. Tun Ali, 
and that he had a son, Raja Mansur. This 
accords with the Perak story that Sultan 
Mudzafar Shah was succeeded by his son, a 
Sultan Mansur Shah. The following table 
shov/s the line of descent 

in the sight of the Malays. From this time 
onwards the Dutch came constantly to Johore. 
Their factor, Jacob Buijsen, resided continu- 
ously at his station and seems to have done 
a good deal to turn an insignificant fishing 
village into an important centre of trade and 
political influence. In this work of develop- 
ment he received every assistance from the 
Sultan's brother, Raja Abdullah, who was 
anxious to make a definite alliance with Holland 

Sultan Mahmud Shah 
(of Malacca and Johore) 

(Sultan Ahmad Shah) 


" Raja Muda " 

[Sultan Mudzafar Shah I. 

of Perak) 


Raja Mansur 

(Sultan Mansur Shah I. 

of Perak) 

Raja Kechil Besar 
{Sultan Alaedin Riayat 
Shah II. of Johore) 

Raja Muda Perdana 

{Sultan Mudzafar Shah II. 

of Johore) 

This pedigree would go to prove not only 
that the Sultan of Perak represents the senior 
line of the oldest Malay dynasty, but also that 
he is directly descended from the famous line 
of Bendaharas whose glories are the subject 
of the "Sejarah Melayu." 

Sultan Mudzafar Shah 11. seems to have 
reigned in comparative peace at Johore. The 
only incident of any importance recorded 
about him was his secret marriage under 
rather suspicious circumstances to a Pahang 
lady, the divorced or abducted wife of one 
Raja Omar of Pahang. Sultan Mudzafar Shah 
did not live long. When he died the chiefs 
placed his son, the boy Abdul Jalil, on the 
throne. The new sovereign, Abdul Jalil Shah, 
suffered great tribulations at the hands of the 
Portuguese, who burnt Johore Lama and drove 
him to the upper reaches of the river, where 
no ships could follow him. He settled ulti- 
mately at Batu Sawar, which he named Makam 
Tauhid. He died at this place, leaving two 
sons (Raja Mansur and Raja Abdullah) by his 
principal wife, and three sons (Raja Hasan, 
Raja Husain and Raja Mahmud) by secondary 
wives. It is said that the last three became 
rulers of Siak, Kelantan and Kampar respec- 
tively. Raja Mansur succeeded to the throne 
of Johore under the title of Alaedin Riayat 
Shah III. It was in the reign of this Alaedin 
Riayat Shah that the Dutch and English first 
came to Johore. 


The Dutch Ascexdaxcv. 

About the end of a.d. 1602 a Dutch navi- 
gator of the name of Jacob van Heemskerck 
visited Johore and left a factor behind, after 
satisfying himself that the factor's life was 
not likely to be endangered by any peace 
between the Malays and the Portuguese. By 
doing this he attracted to Johore the unwelcome 
attentions of the Governor of Malacca, who at 
once sent a few small vessels to blockade the 
river. However, in a.d. 1603 two Dutch ships 
that came to visit the factor drove away the 
Portuguese flotilla and obtained great honour 

and to obtain some permanent protection 
against Portuguese attack. A Malay envoy 
was actually sent to Holland, but died on 
the journey, and no treaty was made till 
a.d. 1606, 'when Admiral Cornells Matelief 
with a powerful fleet arrived in the Straits of 

The Dutch account of this expedition tells us 
that the old Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah had been 
a great fighter and had waged a long war 
against the Portuguese. At his death he left 
four sons. The eldest, the " King Yang-di- 
Pertuan " (Alaedin Riayat Shah III.) was in 
the habit of getting up at noon and having a 
meal, after which he drank himself drunk and 
transacted no further business. His second son, 
the King of Siak, was a man of weak character, 
who rarely visited Johore. His third, Raja 
Abdullah, is described as a man of about thirty- 
five years of age, fairly intelligent, far-sighted, 
quiet m disposition, and a great hand at driving 
hard bargains. The fourth brother, Raja Laut, 
is depicted as " the greatest drunkard, murderer, 
and scoundrel of the whole family. . . All 
the brothers drink except Raja Abdullah ; and 
as the rulers are, so are the nobles in their 
train." Such, then, were the men whom the 
Admiral Cornells Matelief had come to succour. 
But we must not condemn these men too 
hastily. The Bendahara or prime minister of 
these Princes was the author of the " Annals," 
our great source of information on Malay history. 
The royal drunkard, Alaedin Riayat Shah, was 
the man who ordered the "Annals "to be written. 
The " great hand at driving hard bargains "— 
Raja Abdullah — is the patron of the history : 
"Sultan Abdullah Maayat Shah, the glory of 
his land and of his time, the chief of the 
assembly of true believers, the ornament of 
the atrodes of the Faithful — may God enhance 
his generosity and his dignities, and perpetuate 
his just government over all his estates." 
These men must have been something more 
than mere drunkards ; the historian has reason 
to be grateful to them. 

On May 14, 1606, Admiral Matelief arrived 
off the Johore river and received a friendly 
letter of greeting from Raja Abdullah ; on May 
17th he entertained the Prince on board his 
iflagship. The interview must have been 
amusing, for it is quite clear that the Dutch 



had come to the Straits with the most ex- 
aggerated ideas about the greatness of Johore. 
On boarding the Dutch ship Raja Abdullah 
greeted his host most cordially and presented 
him with a "golden kris studded with stones 
of little value." In welcoming the sailoi's to 
Malay waters, the Raja prolonged the compli- 
ments to such an extent that the impatient 
Admiral tried to lead him up to business by 
a pointed inquiry regarding the nature and 
extent of the help that might be expected from 
Johore if the Dutch attacked Malacca. In this 
matter, however, the Prince was anxious not 
to commit himself. He explained that he was 
an orang miskin, a person of little wealth and 
importance, subordinate in all things to the 
will of his royal brother. " In short," says our 
angry Dutch chronicler, " all the information 
that we could obtain from this Prince was that 
he was a very poor man indeed ; had he been 
able to fight the Portuguese by himself, would 
he have sent to Holland for assistance ? " 
This was unanswerable. The Admiral gave 
up all hope of obtaining any real armed assist- 
ance from Johore. 

Nevertheless a treaty was signed. It is the 
first Dutch treaty with Johore and is dated 
May 17, 1606. Its terms are interesting. 

The new allies began by agreeing to capture 
Malacca. After capturing it, they were to 
divide up the spoil — the city was to go to the 
Dutch and the adjoining territories to the 
Malays, but the Dutch were to possess the 
right to take timber from the nearest Malay 
jungles for the needs of the tovi'n and its 
shipping. The permission of the future Dutch 
Governor of Malacca was to be obtained 
before any European could be permitted to 
land on Johore territory. 

As this treaty seemed a little premature until 
the capture of Malacca had been effected, 
Admiral Matelief set out at once to carry out 
that portion of the arrangement. He gained 
a decisive victory over the Portuguese fleet 
but failed to take the town, and ultimately gave 
up the enterprise as impracticable. On Sep- 
tember 23, 1606, he made an amended treaty 
under which a small portion of Johore territory 
was ceded to the Dutch as a trading station in 
lieu of the town and fort of Malacca, the rest 
of the treaty remaining the same as before. 
After concluding this agreement he sailed 
away, and only returned to the Malay Pen- 
insula in October, 1607, when he visited the 
factory at Palani. He then found that a com- 
plete change had come over the position of 
affairs at Johore. The Portuguese — having 
lost the command of the sea — had reversed 
their policy of unceasing hostility to native 
powers, and were now prepared to make an 
alliance with the Sultan. The Dutch factor 
had fled to Java, and the Admiral summed up 
the situation in a letter dated January 4, 1608 : 
" The chief King drinks more than ever ; the 
chiefs are on the side of the Portuguese ; Raja 
Abdullah has no power." The Dutch East 
India Company had invested 10,000 dollars at 
Johore and 63,000 dollars at Patani. 

Admiral Matelief could do very little. As 
he had sent most of his ships home and was 
expecting the arrival of a fleet under Admiral 
van Caerden, he tried to induce Admiral van 
Caerden to change his course and threaten 

Johore, but he was too late, as the Admiral had 
sailed already from Java on his way to the 
Moluccas and was too far away to give any 
assistance. Nothing could be done till the 
autumn. In the end a Dutch fleet arrived 
under Admiral Verhoeff to bring the SuKan 
to reason. Sultan Alaedin Riayat Shah seems 
to have defended himself by the very logical 
argument that he wished to be at peace with 
everybody and that Dutch friendship, to be of 
value, should accord him permanent pro- 
tection. This permanent protection was 
promised him by a new treaty, under which 
the Dutch agreed to build a fort at Johore and 
to station two guardships there to defend the 
place against Portuguese attack. Having 
made this arrangement, the Admiral sailed 
from Johore with a letter from the Sultan 
begging for Dutch aid to prosecute a personal 
quarrel between himself and the Raja of Patani. 
In fact, nothing could have been more fatuous 
than the policy of this Alaedin Riayat Shah. 

Dutch residents in the factory. The Achinese 
did not treat their prisoners very harshly. 
The Sultan of Achin — the famous Iskandar 
Muda or Mahkota Alam — gave his sister in 
marriage to Raja Abdullah and even joined 
Alaedin in the convivial bouts that were so 
dear to the Johore Princes. A reconciliation 
was effected. On August 25, 1614, Alaedin 
Riayat Shah was back in his own capital, but 
he does not seem to have learned much 
wisdom from his stay in Achin. Accused of 
lukewarmness in helping the Achinese in 
their siege of Malacca, he brought upon him- 
self for the second time the vengeance of the 
great Mahkota Alam. Johore was again 
attacked — this time by a force which an eye- 
witness, Admiral Steven van der Haghen, 
estimated at 300 ships and from 30,000 to 40,000 
men. Johore was taken, but the Sultan him- 
self escaped to Bintang. Bintang was next 
attacked. The unfortunate Sultan received 
some help from Malacca, but only just enough 


Surrounded by powerful enemies, he was 
content to think only of the pleasures and of 
the passions of the moment, leaving all graver 
matters to the care of his cautious brother. 
Raja Abdullah. 

In A.D. 1610 the marriage of the Sultan's 
eldest son to his cousin, the daughter of the 
Raja of Siak, led to a complete change in the 
attitude of the fickle Alaedin Riayat Shah 
towards Raja Abdullah and the Dutch. The 
Raja of Siak, a friend of the Portuguese, 
became the real power behind the throne of 
Johore. Again, as in 1608, the Dutch might 
well have written : " The King drinks more 
than ever ; the chiefs are on the side of the 
Portuguese ; the Raja Abdullah has no power." 
But vengeance overtook the treacherous Ala- 
edin from a most unexpected quarter. On 
June 6, 1613, the Achinese, who were at war 
with Malacca, suddenly made a raid on Johore, 
captured the capital, and carried the Sultan off 
into captivity along with his brother Abdullah, 
the chief Malay Court dignitaries, and the 

to seal his destruction. He was now unable 
either to repel the attack of his enemies or 
to clear himself of the charge of allying him- 
self with the Portuguese infidel against whom 
Mahkota Alam was waging religious war. 
Alaedin Riayat Shah was taken prisoner and 
died very shortly afterwards ; tradition has it 
that he was put to death by his captors. 

Incidentally it may be observed that the 
"Malay Annals," though dated a.d. 1612, refer 
to "the late Sultan Alaedin Riayat Shah, who 
died in Achin." This reference shows that 
the book, though begun in A.D. 1612, was not 
actually completed till some years later. It 
is very much to be regretted that the Malay 
historian should have confined his work to the 
records of the past and should have given us 
no account whatever of the stirring incidents 
in which he personally, as Bendahara, must 
have played a most prominent part. 

Sultan Alaedin Riayat Shah III. was suc- 
ceeded by his brother Raja Abdullah, who 
took the title of Sultan Abdullah Maayat Shah. 



The new ruler. possessed many good qualities 
and he had the advantage of being married to 
a sister of Mahkota Alam, but was extremely 
unfortunate in being forced to contend against 
so jealous a "potentate as his brother-in-law. 
He seems to have led the wandering existence 
of a Pretender-King. In a.d. 1623 he was cer- 
tainly driven out of the island of Linggi by 
an Achinese force. In A.D. 1634 the Dutch 
records speak of Pahang and Johore as being 
incorporated in the kingdom of Achin. No 
Dutch ships ever visited Abdullah during his 
sultanate ; no Dutch factors were ever sta- 
tioned at his Court. He was deserving but 
unfortunate — a mere claimant to a throne that 
the Achinese would not permit him to fill. 
He died in a.d. 1637. 

He was succeeded — if indeed we can speak 
of succession to so barren a title — by his 
nephew, Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah II., son_ of 
the Sultan Alaedin Riayat Shah III. who died at 
Achin. The new ruler was more fortunate 
than his predecessor in that the Achinese 
power was now on the wane. The mighty 
Mahkota Alam, the most powerful and most 
ambitious of the rulers of Achin, was dead ; 
his sceptre had passed into the hands of 
women. These years — from 1637 onwards — 
may be considered years of revival among the 
Malay States that had been reduced to vassal- 
age by Achin, for they gave a new lease of 
life to the kingdoms of Johore, Pahang and 
Perak. In a.d. 1639 the Dutch, who were 
anxious to procure native assistance for the 
siege of Malacca, made overtures to the Sultan. 
Possessing the command of the sea, they 
wanted Malay auxiliaries to assist them with 
supplies and transport and to help in hem- 
ming in the Portuguese by land. The Dutch 
Admiral Van de Veer accordingly entered into 
an agreement with Abdul Jalil Shah and' defi- 
nitely secured him as an ally in the war 
against Malacca. This time the Portuguese 
stronghold was captured (a.d. 1641). 

In spite of the fact that the military com- 
manders at Malacca were not altogether satis- 
fied with the help given them by their Malay 
allies, the Dutch civil authorities did their best 
to show gratitude to Johore and to restore it 
as much as possible to its old position. They 
arranged peace between Johore and Achin, 
and gave various other assurances of . their 
goodwill to the Sultan Abdul Jalil Shah. We 
hear of various complimentary missions being 
exchanged between Johore and Batavia with- 
out much practical result. What else, indeed, 
could we have expected ? Johore became 
useless to Holland as soon as the capture of 
Malacca gave the Dutch a better station in the 
Straits than the old trading factory of Batu 
Sawar had ever been. Johore had no indus- 
tries, no trade, no productive hinterland ; it 
was bound to decline. Sultan Abdul Jalil lived 
long enough to see a great calamity overwhelm 
his country. A quarrel with the Sultan of 
Jambi led in a.d. 1673 to a war in which 
Johore was plundered and burnt and its aged 
rulerdriven into exile. The death of the old 
Sultan — who did not long survive the shock 
of the destruction of his capital — brought to an 
end the direct line of the Johore dynasty. 

He, was succeeded by a cousin, a Pahang 
Prince who took the name of Sultan Ibrahim 

Shah. The new ruler's energy infused fresh 
life into the State ; he established himself at 
Riau in order to carry on the war against Jambi 
more effectively than from Johore Lama ; he 
allied himself with the Dutch, and in time 
succeeded in regaining what his predeces- 
sor had lost. But he did not live long. On 
February 16, 1685, he died, leaving an only 
son, who was at once placed on the throne 
under the title of Sultan Mahmud Shah. As 
the new Sultan was a mere boy, his mother 
became Regent, but she allowed all real power 
to be vested in the Bendahara Paduka Raja, 
the loyal and able minister of her late husband, 
the victorious Sultan Ibrahim. She was wisely 
advised in so doing. Peace was assured ; the 
traditional friendship with Holland was loyally 
kept up by the Bendahara ; internal troubles 
of all kinds were avoided. Unfortunately the 
Bendahara died, and his headstrong ward took 
the government of the State into his own hands. 
In a.d. 1691 we hear of him as ruling from 
Johore. This young Sultan, Mahmud Shah II., 
the last Prince of his race — ruler of Pahang 
and Riau as well as of Johore — is the most 
mysterious and tragic figure in Malay history. 
He was said to be.the victim of one of those 
terrible ghostly visitants, a Malay vampire, 
the spirit of a woman dead in childbirth and 
full of vengeance against the cause of her 
death. He is accused, by Malay traditions from 
all parts of the peninsula, of having slain in 
the most fiendish manner those of his wives 
who had the misfortune to become pregnant. 
Probably he was mad ; but no form of madness 
could have been more dangerous to a prince 
in his position. The frail Hfe of this insane 
and hated Sultan was the only thing that stood 
between any bold conspirator and the thrones 
of Johore, Pahang, and Linggi. The end 
came in a.d. 1699. As the young ruler was 
being carried to mosque at Kota Tinggi on the 
shoulders of one of his retainers he was stabbed 
to death. All Malay tradition ascribes this 
assassination to the Sultan's minister, the 
Bendahara Sri Maharaja, head of the great 
family that is described in the " Malay Annals " 
as glorying in the tradition of fidelity to its 
Princes. With the death of the Sultan Mahmud 
Shah II. the dynasty of Malacca, Johore, and 
Pahang disappears from the page of history. 
In the records of this long line of Kings the 
point that most impresses the student is the 
curiously personal character of Malay sove- 
reignty. In Europe, where all the Continent 
is divided up under different rulers, there is 
no place for a fallen king except as a subject. 
In the thinly pop'.ilated Malay world the 
position was entirely different. So long as 
a fugitive prince could induce a few followers 
to share his lot, he could always find some 
unoccupied valley or river in which to set up 
his miniature Court. The wandering exile 
Raja Abdullah (a.d. 1615-37), whose movements 
cannot be traced and the date of whose death 
is uncertain, was nevertheless a king — " Sultan 
Abdullah Maayat Shah, the glory of his land 
and of his time." He was born in the purple. 
But to less highly born adventurers the 
acquisition of royal rank, as distinct from 
mere power, was a very difficult matter. All 
Malay popular feeling is against the " worm " 
that aspires to become a " dragon." If a bad 

harvest or a murrain or any other misfortune 
had overtaken the subjects of an upstart king, 
all Malaya would have explained it as the 
Nemesis that waits on sacrilege, the result of 
outraging the divine majesty of kings. Royalty 
was a mere matter of caste, but a great Sultan 
might create minor Sultans, just as the Emperor 
of China made a Sultan of the Paramisura 
Muhammad Shah, or as Sultan Mansur Shah 
divided his dominions between his sons, or as 
Sultan Mahmud Shah I. gave sovereign rank to 
his son Ahmad Shah, or as Queen Victoria may 
be said to have created the sultanates of Johore 
and Pahang. Titular dignity was one thing ; 
real authority was another. Powerful de facto 
rulers such as (in recent times) the Bendahara 
of Pahang, the Temenggong of Johore and the 
Dato' of Rembau, and great territorial magnates 
like the Maharaja Perba of Jelai, were kings 
in all except the name. The glamour of titles 
and of royal descent is so great that it often 
obscures realities. The Dutch when they 
negotiated their treaty with the Sultan of 
Achin found, when too late, that he was 
Sultan in rank only, not .in power. The 
sympathy that has been lavished upon the 
dispossessed princely house of Singapore is 
based upon a misconception of. the meaning 
of Malay " royalty." Royal rank meant prestige, 
position, influence — the things that lead to 
power. Royal rank was a great thing in 
Malay eyes and justified the attention that they 
devoted to pedigrees and to the discussion of 
the relative importance of the articles that made 
up a king's regalia. But the student of Malay 
things who mistakes mere rank for power will 
constantly be surprised to find, as Admiral 
Matelief was astonished to discover, that a 
Malay Prince is often an orang miskin — a very 
poor person indeed ! 

Immediately after the death of the unhappy 
Mahmud Shah, his murderer, the Bendahara 
Sri Maharaja, ascended the throne of Johore 
and Pahang under the title of Sultan Abdul 
Jalil Riayat Shah. Like most Princes who 
obtain a crown by violence, he found that his 
position was one of ever-growing danger from 
malcontents at home and enemies abroad. 
Two new disturbing forces had entered the 
arena of Malayan politics. The first was the 
great Menangkabau immigration ; the second 
was the continued presence of Bugis fleets and 
colonies on the peninsula coast. A constant 
stream of industrious Sumatran Malays had for 
some time past been pouring into the inland 
district now known as the Negri Sambilan. 
These men, being very tenacious of their own 
tribal rights and customs, resented any inter- 
ference from Johore. The Bugis were even 
more dangerous. They were more warlike and 
more energetic than the Malays ; they built 
bigger ships ; they were ambitious, and they 
seemed anxious to get a firm footing in the 
country. In A.D. 1713 Sultan Abdul Jalil Riayat 
Shah tried to strengthen his position by a 
closer alliance with, the Dutch ; but such a 
policy, though it might assist him against 
foreign foes, was of very little avail against the 
enemies of his own household. In a.d. 1617 
(or a little earlier) an incident occurred that 
may be described as one of the more extra- 
ordinary events in Malay history. A Menang- 
kabau adyenturer calling himself Raja K^chil 



appeared in Johore. He gave himself out to be 
a postliumous son of the murdered Mahmud 
Shah and stirred up a revolution in the capital. 
But the strangest part of the incident was its 
termination. The upstart Sultan Abdul Jalil 
Riayat Shah consented to revert to his old 
position of Bendahara Sri Maharaja and to 
serve under the impostor, Raja Kfchil, whose 
claims he must have known to be false. To 
cement this alliance between murder and fraud 
the ex-Sultan agreed to give his daughter, 
Tengku Tengah, in marriage to the new Sultan, 
who took the name of Abdul Jalil Rahmat 

It is difficult to exactly trace the course of 
events after this point because we have two 
Malay partisan histories written from opposite 
points of view. One history accepts this Raja 
Kechil as a true son of the murdered Sultan 
Mahmud ; the other treats him as a scoundrel 
and an impostor, and makes a martyr of the 
deposed assassin, Sultan Abdul Jalil Riayat 
Shah. There can be no doubt that the Benda- 
hara's relatives conspired with the Bugis 
against their new master, but the details of 
the plot are not very clear. According to one 
account ^.a woman's jealousy provoked the 
trouble. Raja Kechil had jilted Tgngku Tengah 
in order to marry her younger sister, Tengku 
Kamariah. This little change in the original 
plan did not injure the Bendahara, but it made 
a great deal of difference to the ambitious 
Tengku Tengah and caused further dissension 
in a family that was already divided by personal 
jealousies. As the children of the Bendahara 
who were born after his accession to the throne 
denied that their elder brothers, who were 
born before their father became a king, had 
any right to call themselves princes, it is 
not surprising that intrigues and conspiracies 
should have been begun. It happened that 
there was at this time in Johore a Bugis adven- 
turer named Daeng Parani. Tengku Sulaiman, 
eldest son of the Bendahara, went to this man 
and appealed to him for help in overthrowing 
the upstart Raja Kfichil. Daeng Parani hesi- 
tated ; the odds against him were too great. 
TSngku Sulaiman then tried to win over the 
Bugis adventurer by promising him the hand 
of his sister, Tengku Tengah, in marriage. 
Daeng Parani again refused. At this juncture 
Tengku Tengah herself came forward and 
made a personal appeal to the love and chivalry 
of the Bugis chief. Daeng Parani now con- 
sented to act. With great boldness — for he 
had only a handful of men in the heart of a 
hostile capital — he surrounded the Sultan's 
residence and endeavoured to slay Raja Kechil 
and to abduct Tfingku Kamariah. He was 
only partially successful ; the Sultan escaped. 
Daeng Parani fled to Selangor, leaving his 
fellow-conspirators behind. Tengku Sulaiman 
and Tengku Tengah fled to Pahang. The aged 
Bendahara, father of Tengku Sulaiman and 
Tengku Tengah, feeling that he would be 
suspected of having taken a part in the con- 
spiracy, followed his children in their flight, 
but was overtaken and murdered at Kuala 
Pahang. He is the Sultan known as marhum 
kuala Pahang. Tengku Sulaiman, however, 
managed to make good his escape and ulti- 
mately joined his Bugis friends. 

After these incidents Raja Kechil — or Abdul 

Jalil Rahmat Shah as he styled himself — 
abandoned Johore Lama, the scene of so many 
misfortunes to Malay Kings, and made a new 
capital for himself at Riau. He carried on 
with great courage and success a desultory 
war against the Bugis, but was ultimately out- 
manoiuvred and lost his position as Sultan of 
Johore, because the Bugis ships, having enticed 
the Malay fleet to Kuala Linggi, doubled back 
during the night and suddenly appeared before 
Riau. In the absence of its King and his 
followers, Riau could offer no resistance. The 
Bugis proclaimed Tengku Sulaiman Sultan of 
Johore under the title of Sultan Sulaiman 
Badru'l-alamShah. The principal Bugis chief, 
Daeng Merowah (or Klana Jaya Putra) became 
"Yang-di-Pertuan Muda" of Riau, with the title 
of Sultan Alaedin Shah, while another Bugis 
chief, Daeng Manompo, became " Raja tua " 
under the title of Sultan Ibrahim Shah. This 
seems to have occurred on October 22, 
A.D. 1721, but the formal investiture only took 
place on October 4, 1722. To strengthen their 
position, the Bugis chiefs allied themselves in 
marriage with the Malays. Daeng Manompo 
married Tun Tepati, aunt of Sultan Sulaiman ; 
Daeng Merowah maiTied Inche' Ayu, daughter 
of the ex-Temenggong Abdul Jalil and widow 
of the murdered Sultan Mahmud ; Daeng 
Parani had married Tengku Tengah ; and 
Daeng Chelak sought to marry Tengku Ka- 
mariah, the captured wife of Raja Kechil. 
Other Bugis chiefs — Daeng Sasuru and Daeng 
Mengato — married nieces of Sultan Sulaiman. 

As the Bugis accounts of the Raja Kechil 
incident differ very materially from the Malay 
version, we can hardly hope to get a thoroughly 
reliable history of the events that led to the 
establishment of Bugis kingdoms in the Straits 
of Malacca. We may, however, consider it 
certain that Raja Kechil was not a posthumous 
son of Sultan Mahmud Shah. Dutch records 
prove that Raja Kechil was an extremely old 
man in A.D. 1745 ; they even provide strong 
evidence that he was fifty-three years of age 
when he seized the throne of Johore. He 
must therefore have been an older man than 
the Prince whom he claimed as his father. In 
all probability Raja Kechil won his kingdom by 
mere right of conquest, supplanting a murderer 
who was quite ready to give up an untenable 
throne and to take a secure position as Benda- 
hara under a strong ruler. In later years, when 
the Malays became savagely hostile to their 
Bugis masters, they were doubtless ready to ac- 
cept any tale and to follow a Menangkabau 
ruler, who was at least a Malay, in preference 
to the Bugis pirates and their miserable tool. 
Sultan Sulaiman Shah. But when Raja Kechil 
died the Malays rallied to the side of his 
younger son (who had a royal Malay mother) 
and treated the elder son as a mere alien with- 
out any claim to the throne. The murder at 
Kota Tinggi in A.D. 1699 had divided the alle- 
giance of the Malay world and contributed 
greatly to the success of the Bugis. It was 
only at the close of the eighteenth century 
that the old Johore communities again recog- 
nised a common ruler. 

The Bugis chiefs at Riau paid very little 
attention to the puppet-Sultans that they set 
up. They so exasperated Sultan Sulaiman 
that he soon left his sultanate and fled to 

Kampar. After this incident the Bugis felt 
that they had gone too far, and they made a 
new treaty with their titular sovereign and 
induced him to return to Riau. It should be 
understood that even with Sultan Sulaiman's 
help the Bugis position at Riau was very in- 
secure. Raja Kechil, who had established 
himself at Siak, gained many victories and re- 
peatedly attacked his enemies in their very 
capital. In a.d. 1727 he even abducted his 
wife, Tengku Kamariah, who was held captive 
at Riau itself. In a.d. 1728, with the aid of 
Palembang troops, he laid siege to Riau and 
was repulsed. In a.d. 1729 the Bugis block- 
aded Siak and were repulsed in their turn. 
The history of the whole of this period of Bugis 
activity (1721-85) is extremely involved, but 
it is fully discussed in Dutch works, especially 
in the thirty-fifth volume of the Transactions 
of the Batavian Society. We can only briefly 
refer to it. 

The policy of the Dutch — so far as their 
general unwillingness to interfere allowed of 
any policy — was that of supporting the Malays 
against the restless and piratical Bugis. It was 
a difficult policy, this assistance of the weak 
against the strong, but it proved successful in 
the end. Looking at it in the light of ultimate 
results, we can compare two exactly similar 
situations, one in 1756 and the other in 1784, 
and notice the difference in treatment. On 
both occasions Malacca was attacked. 

On the first occasion the Dutch, after re- 
pelling the attack on their fortress, allied 
themselves with the Malays (Sultan Sulaiman, 
his son the Tengku BSsar, and his son-in-law 
the Sultan of Trengganu), and forced the Bugis 
to come to terms (a.d. 1757) and to acknow- 
ledge the Sultan of Johore as their lawful 
sovereign. This plan did not work well, as 
Sultan Sulaiman had great difficulty in en- 
forcing his authority. To make matters worse, 
his death (August 20, 1760) occurred at a time 
when his eldest son, the Tengku BSsar, was 
on a mission to the Bugis Princes of Linggi 
and Selangor. If Malay records are to be 
believed, the Bugis chief, Daeng Kamboja, 
was not a man to waste an opportunity. He 
poisoned the Tengku Besar and then took his 
body, with every possible manifestation of 
grief, back to Riau to be buried. At the burial 
he proclaimed the Tengku Besar's young son 
Sultan of Johore under the title of Sultan 
Ahmad Riayat Shah, but he also nominated 
himself to be Regent. When the unhappy 
boy-King was a little older, and seemed likely 
to take the government into his own hands, 
he too was poisoned, so as to allow a mere 
child, his brother. Sultan Mahmud Riayat Shah, 
to be made Sultan and to prolong the duration 
of the Regency. The Dutch plan of securing 
Malay ascendancy had completely failed. 

On the second occasion (when Raja Haji 
attacked Malacca in 1784) the Dutch, after 
repelling the attack and killing the Bugis 
chief, followed up their success by driving the 
Bugis out of Riau and recognising the young 
Malay Sultan Mahmud Riayat Shah as the 
ruler of Johore. But on this occasion they felt 
that they could not trust any native dynasty to 
maintain permanent peace. They accordingly 
made a treaty with the Sultan, and stationed 
a Resident with a small Dutch garrison at Riau. 



This plan did not work very well at first ; it 
pleased neither the Bugis nor the Malay chiefs. 
The fifth Bugis "Yamtuan Muda " attacked 
I^iau ; the Malay Sultan fled from his capital 
to get up a coalition against the Dutch ; even 
the Ilanun pirates made an attack upon the 
place. In time, however, when the various 
chiefs came to recognise that the glories of 
independence were not sufficient compensation 
for losing the creature-comforts of security 
and peace, both the Sultan Mahmud Shah 
and the Bugis Yamtuan Muda settled down 
definitely at Riau and accepted the part of 
dependent Princes. 

The following pedigree shows the branches 
of the Bugis family that ruled in the Straits. 

derived a considerable portion of their slender 
revenue from piracy. Generally, the condition 
of the country was anarchical. There was 
little trade and less agriculture, and the popu- 
lation was very scanty. The Dutch had a 
great opportunity of extending their influence 
throughout the peninsula, but they lacked the 
conciliatory qualities which are essential in 
dealing with so proud and highly intellectual 
a people as the Malays. Their power, such as 
it was, was greatly shaken by a " regrettable 
occurrence " in Selangor in 1785 which dimmed 
the lustre of their laurels. The State, as we 
have seen, was settled in the eighteenth cen- 
tury by a Bugis colony from the Celebes, and 
at the period named it was under the govern- 

Upu Tanderi Burong 
(a Bugis chief) 

I I .1 

Daeng Perani Daeng Merowah, Daeng Chelak, 

(died 1725 A.D.) Klana Jaya Putra, Sultan Alaedin Sultan Alaedin Shah II. 

Shah I. (First Yang-di-Pertuan (Second Yang-di-Pertuan Muda 

Muda of Riau, 1721-28) 

Daeng Kamboja, 

Sultan Alaedin Shah III. 

(Third Yang-di-Pertuan Muda, 



Raja Ali 

(Fifth Yang-di-Pertuan Muda) 

Sultan Mahmud Riayat Shah of Johore died 
in the year 1812 A.D., leaving two sons, 
Tfngku Husain and Tengku Abdurrahman. 
The latter was at once proclaimed Sultan by 
the Bugis Yang-di-Pertuan Muda of Riau. 
Tengku Husain, who was absent in Pahang 
at the time of his father's death, returned to 
Riau, but appears to have made no effective 
protest against his younger brother's accession. 
Sultan Abdurrahman was recognised as Sultan 
of Johore and Pahang by both the Dutch and 
the English until January, 1819, when it suited 
Sir Stamford Raffles to repudiate that recog- 
nition and to accord to Tengku Husain the 
title of Sultan of Johore. From this time the 
line of Sultans divides into two, one branch 
reigning under Dutch protection in the island 
of Linggi, the other living under British pro- 
tection in the town of Singapore itself. 

Raja Lumu, 
Sultan Selaheddin Shah 
(First Sultan of Selangor) 

of Riau, 1728-45) 


Raja Haji 
(Fourth Yang-di-Pertuan Muda 
of Riau, 1777-84) 


The Early British Connection with the 

When the British occupied Pinang at the 
close of the eighteenth century the situation 
on the mainland was a confused one. The 
Dutch held Malacca, and their power extended 
over Naning, and to a less extent over Rem- 
bau and the Negri Sambilan, and they had 
a factory in Selangor which they utilised for 
the enforcement of their tin monopoly. In 
the north were the Siamese hovering about the 
confines of Kedah and menacing Trengganu 
and Kelantan. The separate States were ruled 
by chiefs whose power was despotically exer- 
cised, and who, in the majority of instances, 

ment of Sultan Ibrahim, a sturdy chief who 
commanded a great reputation amongst the 
people of the area. In 1784 the Sultan, with his 
ally the Muda of Riau, Raja Haji, attacked 
Malacca, plundered and burned the suburbs 
of the city, and would probably have com- 
pleted the conquest of the place but for the 
timely arrival in the roads of a Dutch fleet 
under Admiral Von Braam. The Dutch suc- 
ceeded in defeating the combined forces, and 
later carried the war into the enemy's country. 
But Sultan Ibrahim, deeming discretion the 
better part of valour, fled to Pahang, leaving 
the Dutch to occupy Selangor without opposi- 
tion. Subsequently Ibrahim crossed the penin- 
sula from Pahang with about two thousand 
followers, and made a night attack on the 
Dutch fort on June 27, 1785. Panic-stricken, 
the Dutch garrison abandoned their fort in a 
disgraceful manner, leaving behind them all 
their heavy artillery, ammunition, and a con- 
siderable amount of property. The Dutch 
threatened reprisals, and Ibrahim made peace 
with them by restoring the plunder and 
acknowledging the suzerainty of the Nether- 
lands East India Company. The chief, how- 
ever, was never reconciled to the connection, 
and he made repeated overtures to the authori- 
ties of Pinang for the extension of British 
protection to his State. 

When Malacca was handed back to the 
Dutch in 1818, under the terms of the Treaty 
of Vienna, there was, as we have already noted, 
a feeling of alarm excited amongst the British 
community at Pinang. Not only was the retro- 
cession regarded as in itself a serious blow to 
British prestige, but there were apprehensions 
that the re-establishment of the Dutch at this 
fine strategical centre would effectually pre- 
vent the extension of British influence in the 

peninsula. The Pinang merchants on June 8, 
1818, wrote to the Government on the subject 
of the desirability of the adoption of a more 
active poHcy in the Malay peninsula. In the 
course of their communication they adverted 
to the extensive commercial intercourse then 
carried on by British subjects from Pinang 
with Perak, Selangor, Riau, Cringore and 
Pontiana, and other ports in Borneo, and ex- 
pressed apprehension that the Dutch on 
reoccupying Malacca would endeavour to 
make exclusive treaties with the chiefs of 
those States very detrimental to British trade. 
They therefore earnestly pressed the Governor 
(Colonel Bannerman) to lose no time in en- 
deavouring to enter into friendly alliance 
with the chiefs of these countries, which 
would secure for British merchants equal 
privileges with those of the subjects of other 
nations. The Government, acting promptly 
upon the suggestion, despatched Mr. Cracroft, 
Malay translator to the Government, to the 
adjoining States of Perak and Selangor for the 
purpose of forming treaties which would at 
least prevent a monopoly on the part of the 
Dutch, and secure for Pinang a fair partici- 
pation in the general trade of the States- 
There was at the time war raging between 
Kedah and Perak over the question of the des- 
patch of a token of homage by the latter to the 
Siam Court. Mr. Cracroft was instructed by 
the short-sighted autocrat of Pinang to urge 
submission to the demand, and as the Perak 
people were little disposed to yield, his 
mission was for a time imperilled by the 
attitude he assumed. Eventually, however, 
by clever diplomacy, he managed to obtain 
the desired treaty. Proceeding to Selangor, 
Mr. Cracroft concluded a similar treaty there. 

At or about this time efforts were made by 
the Pinang Government to revive the tin 
trade, which had greatly suffered by the 
transfer of the island of Banca to the Dutch. 
A reference has been made to this in the 
Pinang section of the work, but a more ex- 
tended account of the transactions may be 
given here. The movement was prompted 
by offers from the Sultans of Perak, Selangor, 
and Patani to furnish supplies of the product. 
The Sultan of Perak was especially friendly. 
As far back as 1816 he not only made an offer 
to the Government of a tin monopoly, but 
tendered also the island of Pangkor and the 
Dinding district on the mainland for the trifling 
consideration of 2,000 dollars a year. This 
Sultan was the same chief who expelled the 
Dutch from Selangor in 1785. In these favour- 
able circumstances Mr. John Anderson was 
despatched with full powers to negotiate 
with the chiefs named for the re-establish- 
ment of the trade. 

In conformity with his instructions, Mr. 
Anderson proceeded to the States of Perak, 
Selangor, and Colong. An interesting rela- 
tion of what befel him is given in a pamphlet 
he issued some years later under the title of 
"Observations on the Restoration of Banca 
and Malacca." From this we may sum- 
marise the facts. Despite the circumstance 
that Perak was in a state of anarchy at 
the time of his arrival, the result of his 
mission was by no means unfavourable even 
there, while at Selangor and Colong, although 



considerable difficulties were encountered, the 
objects attained fully realised the expectations 
formed, an engagement having been made 
for 1,500 piculs of tin annually to the Com- 
pany at the low price of 43 dollars per bahar, 
which was considerably less than expected. 
The contract was a perpetual one, but it 
appeared to Mr. Anderson that the establish- 
ment of native agents at the different States, 
as had been suggested by a Committee which 
had sat in Pinang before he left, would not 
only be ineffectual for the purposes intended, 
but involve a heavy expense without any corre- 
sponding benefit, and be much less adapted for 
the purpose of extending and encouraging the 
tin trade than the formation of a small factory 
at an island near the chief port where the tin 
was procured, to which natives of their own 
accord would resort for the sale of tin. He 
consequently recommended the establishment 
of a factory on the island of Pangkor, near the 
Bindings, and distant from the Perak river 
about 12 miles. It was pointed out by Mr, 
Anderson that tlie island was peculiarly well 
situated for the contemplated purpose. It 
abounded in canes, rattans, wood-oil, dammar, 
and crooked timber for ships. The water was 
particularly excellent, the harbour safe, and in 
fine the island possessed almost every advan- 
tage that could be desired for the purpose 
stated. Independently of its occupation being 
important in a commercial sense, it would, he 
pointed out, be the means of preventing pirates 
resorting there, as they had been in the habit 
of doing. The Government at Pinang approved 
the scheme, and obtained the sanction of the 
Supreme Government to establish a factory at 
Pangkor, " provided a cession of the island 
could be obtained from a power competent 
to grant it, and there was no probability of 
difficulties afterwards arising as to the legality 
of the occupation." The circumstances were 
not immediately favourable for the execution 
of the plan suggested by Mr. Anderson. The 
Sultan of Perak had long claimed the island as 
a dependency of that State, but the Sultan of 
Selangor had, with more propriety, made a 
similar claim, and his son was in fact in 
possession of the island and part of the main- 
land district known as the Bindings. Mean- 
while, the Sultan of Kedah, having invaded 
Perak territory, was disposed to regard it as 
his by right of conquest. To this potentate 
Mr. Anderson applied in January, 18 19, for the 
cession of the island, and for permission to 
allow his chiefs to continue disposing of the 
tin collected to the British agents in Perak. 
The Sultan of Kedah replied that he could not 
comply, as he was under the authority of 
Siara, and pending a communication from the 
King of Siam as to how matters were to be 
settled he could do nothing. While these 
negotiations were proceeding -the Government 
of Pinang had been taking steps to forward the 
tin trade with Patani. Their operations were, 
however, hampered by the Sultan of Kedah's 
agents, and were ultimately completely nulli- 
fied by the imposition of what was practically 
a prohibitive export duty. Shortly afterwards 
a new complication was introduced into the 
tangled thread of Perak politics by the intru- 
sion of a Butch mission into the territory with 
the object of founding a settlement there. 

Both the Kedah and the Perak people were 
extremely averse to the Dutch designs, and 
an urgent representation in favour of inviting 
British interference was made by the Benda- 
liara of Perak to the Sultan of Kedah. The 
withdrawal of the Butch mission to Malacca 
relieved the situation, and nothing came of 
the proposal immediately. But two months 
later, when the Kedah forces evacuated Perak, 
the Bendahara wrote to Mr. Anderson offering 
to enter into -t treaty with him for the supply 
of tin. The Butch Government about this 
time sent an embassy to Selangor and in- 
sisted upon the King renewing an obsolete 
treaty which prejudiced British interests. 
The Sultan promptly communicated the fact 
to Pinang, and at the same time expressed his 
desire to fulfil his engagements, In June Mr. 
Cracroft was despatched again to Colong and 
Selangor, and on his return availed himself of 
the opportunity of bringing up 310 bahars of 
tin which were ready for Mr. Anderson. 

The death of Colonel Bannerman rendered it 
expedient to suspend the execution of the con- 
tract with the Sultan of Selangor and to dis- 
continue the collection of tin on account of the 
Company. The whole of the tin collected, 
about 2,000 piculs, having been properly 
smelted, was ultimately sold at the price of 
18 Spanish dollars per picul. There was a 
gain on the adventure of 5,396.41 Spanish 
dollars, besides the Custom House duties, 
which amounted to 800 dollars more. The 
Hon. Mr. Clubley, in a minute on the subject, 
expressed the view that sufficient had been 
done for the beneficial purposes contemplated. 
" I quite agree with the Hon. the President 
in the justice of his ideas, that we shall best 
encourage the trade in tin by endeavouring, as 
much as lies in our power, to remove the 
barriers which, at present, either the selfish 
or timid policy of the neighbouring Malay 
Governments has opposed to the free transit 
of that article. The opening of a free com- 
munication with the Kwala Muda will be 
highly desirable in this view on the one side, 
and on the other, the possession of Pankor, if 
it could be done with propriety, would facilitate 
trade with Perak and render it liable to the 
least possible obstructions. I am aware, how- 
ever, of the justice and propriety of the Hon. 
the President's objections against our occupa- 
tion of Pankor at present, in view to avoid 
any cause for jealousy either from the Butch 
Government or from that of Siam under 
present circumstances. It does not appear to 
me, however, that any objections do arise from 
any other quarter to prevent this desirable 
measure being attained, and when the discus- 
sions which have been referred to Europe shall 
be adjusted, I certainly hope to see that island 
an integral part of this Government and 
forming (as it will essentially do) a great 
protection to the passing trade, especially of 
tin from Perak and Selangor, and a material 
obstruction, when guarded by a British detach- 
ment, to the enormous system of piracy that 
at present prevails in that part of the Straits. . . , 
From the foregoing observations, it is needless 
to add I consider, as the Hon. President does, 
that it becomes unnecessary to persevere in 
enforcing our treaties, with the Rajas of Perak 
and Selangor for our annual supply of tin. 

Yet, if circumstances had been otherwise, I 
would assuredly have added ray humble voice 
in deprecating and resenting the overbearing 
assumptions of our Netherlands neighbours at 
Malacca, who in the most uncourteous, if not 
unjustifiable, manner have prevailed on the 
Raja of Selangor to annul a former treaty 
he had concluded with this Government, for 
the purpose of substituting an obsolete one 
of their own. The superior authorities will 
no doubt view in this procedure a continuation 
only of the same system which has been 
practised universally by the Dutch since they 
resumed the government of the Eastern 

The Siamese connection with the affairs of 
the Malay Peninsula cannot be overlooked in a 
general survey of the history of the federated 
area. From a very early period, as has been 
noted, the Siamese had relations with the 
northern portions of the region. Their influ- 
ence varied in degree from time to time with 
the fortunes of their country ; but they would 
appear to have effectually stamped the impress 
of their race upon the population at the period 
of the occupation of Pinang. On the strength of 
their position as the dominant power seated at 
the northern end of the peninsula, they put for- 
ward claims to supremacy over several of the 
principal Malay States, notably Kedah, Patani, 
Perak, and Selangor. These claims were 
never, there is reason to think, fully conceded, 
but occasionally, under stress of threats, the 
chiefs of the States rendered the traditional 
tribute, known as the Bunga Mas, or flower 
of gold. Kedah conceded this degree of 
dependence upon the Siamese power early 
in the nineteenth century, but when demands 
were made upon it for more substantial 
homage it resolutely declined to submit, with 
the result that the State, in November, 1821, 
was overrun by a horde of Siamese under 
the Raja of Ligore, and conquered in the 
circumstances of hideous barbarity related in 
the Pinang section of this work. What fol- 
lowed may be related in the words of Mr. 
Anderson in his famous pamphlet previously 
referred to • : " Having effected the complete 
subjugation of Quedah and possessed himself 
of the country, the Raja of Ligore next 
turned his attention to one of its principal 
dependencies, one of the Lancavy islands, and 
fitted out a strong, well-equipped expedition, 
which proceeded to the principal island, which, 
independent of possessing a fixed population 
of three or four thousand souls, had received 
a large accession by emigrants from Quedah. 
Here, too, commenced a scene of death and 
desolation almost exceeding credibility. The 
men were murdered and the women and 
female children carried off to Quedah, while 
the male children were either put to death 
or left to perish. . . Several badly planned 
and ineffectual attempts have at different times 
been made by unorganised bodies of the King 
of Quedah's adherents in the country to cut off 
the Siamese garrison in Quedah, but these 
have all been followed by the most disastrous 
results ; not only by the destruction of the 
assailants, but b>- increased persecution towards 

' " Considerations on the Conquest of Quedah and 
Perak by the Siamese." 



the remaining Malayan inhabitants. The King 
himself for some time was anxious to have 
made an effort to regain his country, in concert 
with some native powers which had promised 
him aid in vessels and men ; but he was dis- 
suaded from so perilous and certainly doubtful 
an enterprise by those who were interested in 
his cause, and who apprehended his certain 
overthrow and destruction from an attempt of 
the kind. There is no doubt the Siamese were 
too powerful and too well prepared for any 
such ill-arranged expedition as it could have 
been within the compass of the Quedah Raja's 
means to have brought against them to have 
had any chance of success ; and it would have 
been inconsistent with the professed neutrality 
of the British Government to have permitted 
any equipments or warlike preparations within 
its ports, the more particularly so as a mission 
had just proceeded to Siam from the Governor- 
General of India. 

" However much disposed the Pinang 
Government might have been on the first 
blush of the affair to have stopped such 
proceedings on the part of the Siamese and 
to have checked such ambitious and un- 
warrantable aggression, however consistent 
and politic it might have been to have treated 
the Ligorean troops as a predatory horde and 
expelled them at once from the territories of an 
old and faithful ally of the British Government, 
the mission from the Supreme Government of 
Bengal to the Court of Siam, and the probable 
evil consequences of an immediate rupture, 
were considerations which could not fail to 
embarrass the Pinang Government and render 
it necessary to deliberate well before it em- 
barked in any measures of active hostility ; 
while the disposable force on the island, 
although fully adequate to the safe guardian- 
ship and protection of the place, and sufficient 
to repel any force that the Siamese could 
bring against it, was yet insufficient for pro- 
secuting a vigorous war, or maintaining its 
conquests against the recruited legions which 
the Siamese power could have transported 
with facility, ere reinforcements could have 
arrived from other parts of India. Under all 
these circumstances the policy of suspending 
hostilities was manifest, and it was deemed 
proper to await the orders of the superior 
and controlling authorities. It was ex- 

pected that the mission would have produced 
some results advantageous to the interests of 
our ally, by the mediation of the Ambassador, 
and that, at all events, the affairs of Quedah 
would have been settled upon a proper footing. 
So far, however, from any of these most 
desirable objects which were contemplated 
being attained, the Siamese authorities not only 
assumed a tone of insolence and evasion to all 
the reasonable propositions of the Ambassador, 
but signified their expectation that the King of 
Quedah should be delivered up to them. 

"The King of Ligore, not satisfied with the 
conquest of Quedah, and grasping at more 
extended dominion, under pretence of con- 
veying back some messengers from Perak 
who had carried the Bunga Mas, or token 
of homage, to Quedah, requested permission 
for a fleet to pass through Pinang harbour, 
which, being conducted beyond the borders 
by a cruiser, proceeded to Perak, and, after a 

short struggle, his (the King of Ligore's) forces 
also possessed themselves of that country, 
which had been reduced by the Quedah 
forces in 1818, by the orders of Siam, in 
consequence of a refusal to send the Bunga 
Mas, a refusal thoroughly justified, for the 
history of that oppressed State affords no in- 
stance of such a demand ever having been 
made by Siam or complied with before." 

It was understood that Selangor was to 
be the next place attacked, but the timely 
preparations of, and the determined attitude 
taken up by, the Raja of that country deterred 
the Siamese from making the attempt. But it 
was evident from their actions, Mr. Anderson 
thinks, that they contemplated the total over- 
throw and subjugation of all the Malayan 
States on the peninsula and the subversion 
of the Mahomedan religion. Raffles, with his 
clear-sighted vision, had an equally strong 
opinion of the subversive tendencies of Sia- 
mese policy. In a letter dated June 7, 1823, 
addressed to Mr. John Crawfurd, on the occa- 
sion of his handing over to that official the 
administration of Singapore, he drew attention 
to the political relations of Siam with the Malay 
States in order to guide him as to the line he 
should adopt in his political capacity. After 
stating that in his opinion the policy hitherto 
pursued by the British had been founded on 
erroneous principles, Raffles proceeded : " The 
dependence of the tributary States in this case 
is founded on no rational relation which con- 
nects them with the Siamese nation. These 
people are of opposite manners, language, re- 
ligion, and general interests, and the superiority 
maintained by the one over the other is so 
remote from protection on the one side or 
attachment on the other, that it is but a simple 
exercise of capricious tj'ranny by the stronger 
party, submitted to by the weaker from the law 
of necessity. We have ourselves for nearly 
forty years been eye-witnesses of the pernicious 
influence exercised by the Siamese over the 
Malayan States. During the revolution of the 
Siamese Government these profit by its weak- 
ness, and from cultivating an intimacy with 
strangers, especially with ours over other Euro- 
pean nations, they are always in a fair train of 
prosperity ; with the settlement of the Siamese 
Government, on the contrary, it invariably 
regains the exercise of its tyranny, and the 
Malayan States are threatened, intimidated, and 
plundered. The recent invasion of Kedah is a 
striking example in point, and from the infor- 
mation conveyed to me it would appear that 
that commercial seat, governed by a prince of 
the most respectable character, long personally 
attached to our nation, has only been saved 
from a similar fate by a most unlooked-for 
event. By the independent Malayan States, 
who may be supposed the best judges of this 
matter, it is important to observe, the connec- 
tion of the tributary Malays with Siam is looked 
upon as a matter of simple compulsion. Fully 
aware of our power and in general deeply 
impressed with respect for our national 
character, still it cannot be denied that we 
suffer at the present moment in their good 
opinion by withholding from them that pro- 
tection from the oppression of the Siamese 
which it would be so easy for us to give ; and 
Ihe case is stronger with regard to Kedah than 

the rest, for here a general impression is abroad 
amongst them that we refuse an assistance that 
we are by treaty virtually bound to give, since 
we entered into a treaty with that State as an 
independent Power, without regarding the 
supremacy of Siam, or even alluding to its 
connection for five-and-twenty years after our 
first establishment at Pinang. The prosperity of 
the settlement under your direction is so much 
connected with that of the Malayan nation in its 
neighbourhood, and this again depends so much 
upon their liberty and security from foreign op- 
pression, that I must seriously recommend to 
your attention the contemplation of the probable 
event of their deliverance from the yoke of Siam, 
and your making the Supreme Government im- 
mediately informed of every event which may 
promise to lead to that desirable result." 

Raffles was so impressed with the vital 
importance of the question that, besides inditing 
this suggestive letter of advice to his successor, 
he wrote to the Supreme Government urging 
the necessity of a strong policy in dealing with 
the Siamese. "The conduct and character of 
the Court of Siam," he wrote, "offer no open- 
ing for friendly negotiations on the footing on 
which European States would treat with each 
other, and require that in our future communi- 
cations we should rather dictate what we con- 
sider to be just and right than sue for their 
granting it as an indulgence. I am satisfied 
that if, instead of deferring to them so much as 
we have done in the case of Kedah, we had 
maintained a higher tone and declared the 
country to be under our protection , they would 
have hesitated to invade that unfortunate terri- 
tory. Having, however, been allowed to 
indulge their rapacity in this instance with 
impunity, they are encouraged to similar acts 
towards the other States of the peninsula, and, 
if not timely checked, may be expected in a 
similar manner to destroy the truly respectable 
State of Tringanu, on the eastern side of the 
peninsula." Raffles went or, to suggest that 
the blockade of the Menam river, which could 
at any time be effected by the cruisers from 
Singapore, would always bring the Siamese to 
terms as far as concerned the Malay States^ 

The wise words of the founder of Singapore 
had little influence on the prejudiced minds of 
the authorities in India and at home. They dis- 
liked the idea of additional responsibility in this 
region, and they adopted the line of the least 
resistance, which was the conclusion of a treaty 
with Siam accepting the conquest of Kedah as 
an accomplished fact and compromising other 
disputed points. 

The treaty, which was concluded on June 20, 
1826, provided, inter alia, for unrestricted trade 
between the contracting parties " in the English 
countries of Prince of Wales Island, Malacca, 
and Singapore, and the Siamese countries of 
Ligore, Merdilons,Singora,Patani,Junk Ceylon, 
Quedah, and other Siamese provinces ; " that the 
Siamese should not " obstruct or interrupt com- 
merce in the States of Tringanu and Calan- 
tan"; that Kedah should remain in Siamese 
occupation ; and that the Raja of Perak should 
govern his country according to his own will, 
and should send gold and silver flowers to 
Siam as heretofore, if he desired so to do. 
Practically the effect of the treaty was to con- 
firm the Siamese in the possession of an 



enormous tract of country over which their hold 
would, in other circumstances, have been of a 
very precarious character, and supplythem with 
an excuse for further aggression at a later period. 
The shortcomings of the arrangement were 
recognised at the time by the most experienced 
of the Straits administrators, but the full realisa- 
tion of the nature of the blunder committed in 
giving the aggressive little people from the 
North a substantial stake in the peninsula was 
left to a later generation of officials, who were 
to find the natural expansion of British influence 
checked by claims arising out of this Treaty of 
Bangkok of 1826, 


Anarchy in the States- 


For a considerable period following the com- 
pletion of this compact between Great Britain 
and Siam the course of events in the Malay 
Peninsula ceased to engage the active attention 
of British officials in the Straits. The expedi- 
tion to Naning, described in the Malacca section, 
was the one exception to the rule of inactivity, 
and that was but a local and passing episode 
which did not touch the larger question of con- 
trol in the peninsula, since Naning had long 
been regarded as an essential part of the Malacca 
territory. The abstention from interference was 
due to a variety of reasons, but chiefly to the 
indifference of the Indian authorities to the 
interests which centred in the Straits. The dis- 
tance of the area from the seat of government 
prevented that intimate knowledge of the 
country which was essential to a proper 
handUng of the difficult and delicate problems 
arising out of the position of the Malay chiefs, 
and, moreover, there was no apparent compen- 
sation to be gained for thrusting a hand into the 
Asiatic wasps' nest which the region for gene- 
rations had proved to be. Could the Supreme 
Government have seen the Federated Malay 
States as they are to-day — a marvellously 
prosperous centre of industry, not only hand- 
somely paying their way but acting as a feeder 
to the trade of the established British settlements 
— they would doubtless have acted differently. 
But those things were in the lap of the gods. 
All that was visible to the somewhat narrow 
political intelligence of the Calcutta bureaucrats 
was a welter of anarchical tribal despotism, out 
of which nothing could come more tangible 
than a heavy financial responsibility to the Com- 
pany should it be rash enough to intervene. So, 
forgetting the lessons inculcated by Raffles, 
Marsden, and Anderson of the vast potentialities 
of this region for trade, it was content to ignore 
the existence of the Western Malay States save 
on those occasions, not infrequent, when some 
unusually daring act of piracy perpetrated by 
the inhabitants aroused it to transient activity. 

The indifference of the Government of the 
Straits to affairs in the Malay States survived 
for some years the authority of the Govern- 
ment of India in the settlements. The Govern- 
ment at home sternly discountenanced any 
exercise of authority beyond the limits of 
British territory, and knowing this, the local 

officials turned a blind eye on events which 
were passing across the border save when, as 
has been said, flagrant acts of piracy committed 
on British subjects galvanised them to spasmodic 
action. This poHcy of masterly inactivity was 
possible when the trade of the peninsula was 
small and steam communication was little 
developed in the Straits. But when the tin 
mines of Larut became, as they did in the later 
sixties, an important centre of Chinese industry 
and a valuable trade flowed from them through 
Pinang, the attitude of aloofness could not be 
so easily maintained. The commercial com- 
munity of Singapore and Pinang chafed under 
the losses to which they were subjected by the 
eternal warfare of the anarchical elements 
which pervaded the Western States, and again 
and again urged the Government in vain to 
adopt a more energetic policy for the protection 
of what even then was a valuable trade. 
Matters at length got so bad that the Govern- 
ment could no longer ignore their plain respon- 
sibilities. The events which led up to interven- 
tion may be briefly described. In 1871 a 
daring act of piracy committed on a British 
trading boat by Chinese and Selangor Malays 
led to the bombardment by H.M.S. Rinaldo of 
the forts at the mouth of the Selangor river. 
The situation in Selangor itself at the time was 
about as disturbed as it could possibly be. On 
the one side was the brother-in-law of the 
Sultan, a Kedah chief named Tunku Dia Oodin, 
acting as a sort of viceroy under the authority 
of the Sultan, a curious old fellow whose motto 
seems to have been " Anything for a quiet life " 
— his idea of quietude being freedom from 
personal worry ; and on the other were the 
Sultan's sons, who set themselves indefatigably 
to thwart the constituted authority at every 
turn. Three of these sons, the Rajas Mahdie, 
Syed Mashoor, and Mahmud, were mixed up in 
the act of piracy which led to the bombardment 
of the Selangor forts, and the British Govern- 
ment preferred a demand to the Sultan for 
their surrender, and at the same time an- 
nounced that they would support Tunku Dia 
Oodin. For some reason the demand was not 
pressed, and the three lively young princelets, 
with other disaffected members of the royal 
house, threw themselves heart and soul into 
the congenial task of making government by 
Tunku impossible. In July, 1872, a number of 
influential traders at Malacca petitioned the 
Singapore Chamber of Commerce to take up 
the question of the disturbances in Selangor. 
They represented that on the faith of the 
Government assurances- of support to Tunku, 
and with full confidence in his administration, 
they had invested large sums of money in the 
trade of Selangor, more particularly in the tin 
mines. The Singapore Chamber sent the 
petition on to Government, and elicited a reply 
to the eff'ect that every endeavour was being 
made to induce the chiefs to submit to the 
authority of the Sultan and his viceroy, but 
that it was the policy of the Government " not 
to interfere in the affairs of those countries 
unless (sic) where it becomes necessary for the 
suppression of piracy or the punishment of 
aggression on our people or territories ; but 
that if traders, prompted by the prospect of 
large gains, choose to run the risk of placing 
their persons and property in the jeopardy 

which they are aware attends them in this 
country, under these circumstances it is im- 
possible for Government to be answerable for 
their protection or that of their property.'' The 
Singapore Chamber sent a respectful protest 
against the views enunciated in this communi- 
cation. They urged that the Malacca traders 
had made out a just claim for the interference 
of the British Government for the " punishment 
of aggression on our people," and that even if 
the Malacca traders had been induced solely by 
" prospects of large gains " to run considerable 
risks, that alone would not warrant the Govern- 
ment in refusing its protection. Finally the 
Chamber, while deprecating any recourse to 
coercive measures, urged upon the Government 
"the absolute necessity of adopting some 
straightforward and well defined policy in 
dealing with the rulers of the various States of 
the Malay Peninsula, for the purpose of pro- 
moting and protecting commercial relations 
with their respective provinces, as there is every 
reason to believe they would readily accept the 
impartial views and friendly advice of the British 

Somewhat earlier than the date of this 
Malacca petition — in the month of April — the 
Governor, Sir Harry Ord, had been induced by 
the news which reached him of the disturbed 
conditions on the peninsula to despatch the 
Auditor-General, Mr. C. J. Irving, who had 
warmly supported the cause of Tunku Dia 
Oodin, to the Klang and Selangor rivers to 
ascertain exactly what was the condition of 
affairs, and whether it was likely that any 
arrangement could be come to between Tunku 
and those Rajas, especiafly Mahdie, Syed 
Mashoor, and Mahmud, who were still holding 
out against his and the Sultan's authority. Mr, 
Irving brought back word that Tunku Dia 
Oodin had practical possession of both the 
Selangor and Klang rivers, and possessed 
communications with the Bernam river on the 
north and the Langat river on the south, on 
which latter the Sultan resided, and were thus 
enabled to send down to the coast, though not 
without difficulty, the tin raised in the interior, 
and with it to obtain supplies of arms and food. 
Constant warfare prevailed between the two 
parties, and there were repeated attacks and 
captures of posts in which neither party seemed 
to gain any great advantage. Raja Mahdie 
was then out of the country trying to organise 
a force with which to return to the attack. 
Tunku Dia Oodin expressed himself ready to 
make any arrangement by which peace could 
be restored to the country. He had, he said, 
put the Sultan's sons in charge of the Selangor 
river, but partly through weakness and partly 
through treachery they had played into the 
hands of his enemies, and he had been com- 
pelled to displace them. He endeavoured to 
interfere as little as possible with the trade of 
the country, but so long as the rebel Rajas 
could send out of it the tin and get back in re- 
turn supplies, so long would the war continue ; 
and with the view of putting a stop to this he 
had been compelled to enforce a strict blockade 
of the two rivers, which was naturally giving 
great offence to those merchants who had 
made advances on behalf of the tin. 

After completing his inquiries at Selangor, 
Mr. Irving proceeded to Larut, in Perak, where 



serious disturbances threatening the trade of 
the country with Pinang had brolcen out. He 
found the state of affairs quite as bad as it had 
been represented to the Government at Singa- 
pore. On the death of the Sultan of Peralc, 
his son, the Raja Muda, should in the natural 
course~of events have succeeded his father, but 
he, having given great offence to a number of 
chiefs by absenting himself from the funeral 
ceremonies, was superseded by another high 
official, the Bendahara, who had, with the chiefs' 
consent, assumed the sultanship. Each party 
appealed to the Government for countenance 
and support, and was informed that the British 
authorities could not interfere in any way in the 
internal affairs of the country, but that as soon 
as the chiefs and great men had determined 
who, according to their native customs, was the 
proper successor to the Sultan, the Government 
would be happy to recognise him. Mr. Irving 
saw the Raja Muda, but not the Bendahara, who 
made excuses to avoid meeting" him. He was 
of opinion that the Raja Muda had stronger 
claims, but owing to his being an opium 
smoker and a debauchee he had no great 
following nor much influence with the people. 
Mr. Irving strongly urged on the three Rajas 
and their chiefs the importance of a peaceful set- 
tlement of their differences, and suggested that 
there should be a meeting of all the great chiefs 
to determine the question of the succession. 
He added that he would wiih pleasure send 
an officer of rank to be present at their delibera- 
tion and to communicate their selection, which 
they might rest assured would be accepted by 
the British Government. Mr. Irving returned 
to Singapore on April 29, and on May 3rd he 
went back again with letters from the Governor 
strongly impressing on the disputants the ex- 
pediency of settling their differences in the 
way that had been suggested. He found the 
Raja Muda willing to accede to the proposal, 
but not the Bendahara and his adviser, the 
Raja of Larut. 

Such was the position at Perak. At Larut, 
where thousands of Chinese were employed 
upon the mines, serious faction fights had 
broken out amongst these people earlier in the 
year, with the result of the victory of one party 
and the driving away of the vanquished. It 
was hoped that matters had quieted down, but 
in October the faction fight broke out afresh 
with renewed violence. The defeated party, 
having obtained assistance, largely from 
Pinang, attacked their former opponents, and 
after a severe struggle succeeded in driving 
them from the mines, of which they took 

Meanwhile, matters in Selangor were going 
from bad to worse. When Raja Mahdie 
escaped from Johore he made his way up the 
Linggi river, which forms the northern 
boundary of Malacca, and with the connivance 
of the chief of a small territory called Sungei 
Ujong (one of the Negri Sambilan States), 
through which the northern branch of the 
river runs, he made his way to the interior of 
Selangor and joined his brother rebel chiefs. 
Although bringing neither men nor arms, his 
mere presence seems to have acted strongly on 
his party, and the result was a series of attacks 
on Tunku Dia Oodin, ending in the recapture 
of the forts at the mouth of the Selangor river. 

which gave them the entire possession of that 
river, and later of two forts on the upper part 
of the Klang river. Tunku Dia Oodin, being 
now hard pressed, applied for assistance to 
the Bendahara of Pahang, with the assent of 
the British authorities. But before this could 
reach him Tunku, irritated with the favour 
shown to Mahdie by the chief of Sungei Ujong, 
prevailed on the chief of Rembau, another of 
the Negri Sambilan group of States, to reassert 
some old claim which he had to a place called 
Sempang in Sungei Ujong, and on the banks 
of the Linggi river, which communicates in 
the interior with the Langat, Klang, and Selan- 
gor rivers. As the immediate effect of this 
would have been to prevent the Sungei Ujong 
people from getting in their supplies or getting 
out their tin, they immediately applied to the 
Straits Government for protection, offering to 
hand their country over to the British Govern- 
ment if they would accept it. Thinking that 
his interference might tend to bring about 
some arrangement of the matter, Sir Harry 
Ord sent his Colonial Secretary to the chief of 
Rembau, and this individual, on being seen, at 
once expressed his willingness to leave in the 
Governor's hands the entire settlement of his 
difference with Sungei Ujong. The Sungei 
Ujong chief being equally ready to accept the 
proposal. Sir Harry Ord proceeded on October 
29th to Sempang, where he met the chief of 
Sungei Ujong but not the Rembau chief, who 
appears to have mistaken the day of meeting. 
As Sir Harry Ord had an appointment "with 
the Sultan of Selangor on the next day but one, 
and the day after was the Ramazan festival, on 
which no business could be done, it was im- 
possible for him to wait, and he conducted 
his inquiries in the absence of the Rembau 
chief. He was glad to find, after discussing 
matters with the Tunku and the chief of 
Sungei Ujong, that the latter stated that he 
would do all in his power to prevent any 
assistance whatever from reaching Tunku's 
enemies. With this assurance Tunku expressed 
himself satisfied, and the idea of his occupying 
the Sungei river was allowed to drop. On 
leaving Sungei Sir Harry Ord proceeded to 
Langat to meet the Sultan of Selangor. He 
was accompanied by Tunku, and knowing that 
Mahdie was in the neighbourhood and that 
some of the Sultan's people and relatives were 
ill-affected towards Tunku, he deemed it pru- 
dent to ask to be accompanied by the armed 
boats of H.M.S. Zebra and a small escort of 
the 88th Regiment. Before landing he had a 
long interview with Tunku Dia Oodin. He 
pointed out to him the apparently precarious 
nature of his position, and that although he 
had the nominal support of the Sultan and was 
well backed up by people who were satisfied 
of his ultimate success, yet that he had immense 
difficulties to contend with in the open hostility 
of the rebel chiefs and lukewarmness, if not 
treachery, of the Sultan's sons. Sir Harry sug- 
gested that if he did not feel very sanguine of 
success it would be better for him to retire 
from the contest while he could do so with- 
out loss or disgrace, and that if he decided 
on this he (Sir Harry) would, in his inter- 
view with the Sultan, pave the way for his 
doing so in an honourable and satisfactory 
manner. Tunku Dia Oodin, while acknow- 

ledging the justice of much that Sir Harry 
Ord had said, stated that he did not con- 
sider his situation desperate so long as he 
had the prospect of the aid that had been 
promised him from Pahang. Tunku admitted, 
however, that this was his last chance, and 
offered to hand back to the Sultan the authority 
that had been given him on being reimbursed 
the expenses he had been put to in endeavouring 
to carry it out. Sir Harry Ord did not think it 
necessary to accept this offer, and was glad 
to find in his interview with the Sultan that 
individual expressed the utmost confidence in 
Tunku. The complaints about the blockade 
were abandoned on Tunku's explanation of the 
difficulties which compelled him to take this 
step. At Sir Harry Ord's suggestion it was 
agreed that any future difficulties should be 
left for adjustment between Tunku and Raja 
Yacoof, the Sultan's youngest and favourite 

Sir Harry Ord hoped rather than expected 
that in the arrangement he had made he had 
advanced a good step towards adjusting the diffi- 
culties which had for so long a period existed 
in Selangor. But he had not taken sufficient 
account of the strength of the elements of dis- 
order which were in active being all over 
the peninsula. Before very long the position 
changed materially for the worse. The 
assistance asked of the Bendahara of Pahang 
by Tunku Dia Oodin was duly forthcoming, 
and with its aid the tide was soon turned in 
Tunku's favour once more. One after another 
the " rebel " forts were captured, and finally, 
after a long blockade, Kuala Lumpor, the chief 
town of the State, now the flourishing head- 
quarters of the Federation, fell into Tunku's 
hands. The advantage was somewhat dearly 
purchased, for the intrusion of the Pahang force 
introduced a fresh disturbing factor into this 
truly distressful land. 

In October, 1873, Sir Harry Ord left for 
England, bearing with him a vivid impression 
of the increasing gravity of the situation which 
he left behind him. Some little time earUer 
he had forwarded home a suggestive memorial, 
signed by practically every leading Chinese 
merchant in the Straits, representing the 
lamentable condition into which the Malay 
States had been allowed to fall, and imploring 
the Government to give their attention to the 
matter. As evidence of the overwhelming 
desire there was at the period for British 
intervention on the part of the peaceful native 
community, the document is of great interest. 
But perhaps its chief value to-day lies in its 
impartial testimony to the beneficent fruits of 
British rule. After drawing a lurid picture 
of the anarchy which everywhere prevailed, 
the memorialists contrasted the condition of 
the disturbed country with that of Johore : 
" As an example of what the moral influence 
of Great Britain can effect in a native State we 
would point to the neighbouring territory of 
Johore, whose prosperous and peaceful con- 
dition and steady progress is due as well to the 
liberality and foresight of its present ruler as 
to the English influences which have of late 
years been brought to bear upon the Maha- 
raja's rule. This territory we are informed 
from the highest authority contains some 
seventy thousand Chinese, amongst whom are 



twenty or thirty Chinese traders, who are 
possessed of property and capital valued at from 
twenty thousand to thirty thousand dollars. 

" Your Excellency will thus see that the above 
circumstances have so restricted the field for 
trade round the British settlements in these 
waters that it becomes necessary for us to seek 
elsewhere openings for commerce, and our eyes 
anxiously turn to the Malayan Peninsula, which 
affords the finest field for the enterprise of 
British subjects, and from whence we may 
hope to reinvigorate that commercial pros- 
perity which our industry has hitherto secured 
for us. 

" In former days it was the duty of the 
Governors and Resident Councillors of the 
settlements to maintain intimate relations with 
the States of the peninsula. If complaints 
were made of misconduct on the part of the 
native chiefs or any of their headmen, or 
of outrages committed by them on the legiti- 
mate trader, an investigation was ordered and 
redress afforded. B\- a constant attention 
to the state of affairs in these territories, and 
by the rendering of advice and assistance 
in their regulation, the officials of Government 
obtained such an influence over the native rulers 
as to be enabled without the use of force 
to insure the security of the trader and the 
order of the country." 

The policy pursued by the Government of 
the day might, the petitioners said, be in 
accordance with the view which European 
Governments took of their responsibilities to 
each other, but " its application to the half 
civilised States of the Malay Peninsula (whose 
inhabitants are as ignorant as children) is 
to assume an amount of knowledge of the 
world and an appreciation of the elements of 
law and justice which will not exist amongst 
those Governments until your petitioners and 
their descendants of several generations have 
passed away." The memorialists concluded : 
" We ask for no privileges or monopolies ; 
all vire pray of our most gracious Queen is 
that she will protect us when engaged in 
honest occupations, that she will continue 
to make the privilege of being one of her 
subjects the greatest that we can enjoy, 
and that by the counsel, advice, and enter- 
prise of her representative in this colony, she 
will restore peace and order again in those 
States, so long connected with her country, 
not only by treaty engagements but by filial 
attachment, but which, in consequence of the 
policy now pursued towards them, are rapidly 
returning to their original state of lawlessness 
and barbarism." 

It was impossible for the Home Government 
to ignore a memorial couched in such pointed 
language without doing grave injury to British 
prestige, not merely in the Straits Settlements 
but throughout the Far East. Accordingly, 
when at the close of 1873 Major-General Sir 
Andrew Clarke, R.E , went out as Sir Harry 
Ord's successor, he took with him definite 
instructions from Lord Kimberley to make 
a new and important departure in the policy 
of deaUng with the Malay States. In a letter 
dated September 20, 1873, in which acknow- 
ledgment of the receipt of the petition of the 
Chinese traders is made. Lord Kimberley 
wrote : 

" Her Majesty's Government have, it need 
hardly be said, no desire to interfere in the 
internal affairs of the Malay States. But look- 
ing to the long and intimate connection between 
them and the British Government, as shown 
in the treaties which have at various times been 
concluded with them, and to the well-being 
of the British settlements themselves, her 
Majesty's Government feel it incumbent upon 
them to employ such influence as they possess 
with the native Princes to rescue, if possible, 
these fertile and productive countries from the 
ruin which must befall them if the present 
disorders continue unchecked. 

" I have to request that you will carefully 
ascertain, as far as you are able, the actual 
condition of affairs in each State, and that you 
will report to me whether there are, in your 
opinion, any steps which can properly be 
taken by the Colonial Government to promote 
the restoration of peace and order and to 
secure protection to trade and commerce with 


the native territories. I should wish you espe- 
cially to consider whether it would be advisable 
to appoint a British officer to reside in any of 
the States. Such an appointment could, of 
course, only be made with the full consent 
of the native Government, and the expenses 
connected with it would have to be defrayed 
by the Government of the Straits Settlements." 
Sir Andrew Clarke's responsibilities were 
enormously lightened by these instructions, 
which practically conceded the principle for 
which traders and ofBcials alike in the Straits 
had been pleading for many years. But the 
situation he had to face when he reached 
Singapore on November 4, 1873, was not of a 
character to inspire a hopeful feeling. In the 
weeks preceding his arrival the troubles all 
round had increased in seriousness. The chief 
storm centre was Larut. As has been briefly 
noted, the country was the battle-ground of 
two Chinese factions — the See Kwans (or four 
district men) and the Go Kwans (or five 

district men). These men, from different parts 
of China, were traditionally at enmity, but their 
feud had blazed into stronger flame owing to 
the absence of any controlling authority in the 
disturbed area, For a proper understanding 
of the position we may with advantage quote 
from a memorandum drawn up by Mr. Irving, 
the Auditor-General, a survey of the history of 
Larut anterior to these events. In the reign 
of a previous Sultan, Jafaar of Perak, there 
was a trader of considerable importance at 
Bukit Gantang, several miles beyond the tin 
mines, of the name of Inchi Long Jafaar. This 
individual was placed by the Sultan in charge 
of a district, which was then limited to the 
river and the mines, without any title, and in 
this oiBce he probably received all the revenues 
of Larut. Each successive Sultan confirmed 
the appointment on attaining to power, and 
when Inchi Jafaar died, his brother Inchi 
Nghar Lamat succeeded him. In turn Inchi 
Nghar was succeeded by Nghar Ibrahim. 
Before this last-named personage attained to 
power the long protracted feud of the Chinese 
factions had broken out. The first attack was 
made by the Cheng Sia (or Go Kwans) upon the 
Wee Chew (or See Kwans), and the latter came 
off victorious. Nghar Ibrahim appears to have 
sided with the victorious party, and it is 
certain that he dated his rise in fortune from 
this point. One of the leaders of the defeated 
party, a British subject, complained to the 
Resident Councillor of Pinang of the loss he 
had suffered. This resulted in two visits to 
Perak of a man-of-war carrying letters from 
Governor Cavenagh with a demand (enforced 
by a blockade of the river Larut) for an indem- 
nity amounting to 17,447 dollars to recoup the 
defeated party the injury done. The Sultan 
treated the indemnity as a forfeiture due from 
Nghar Ibrahim. He, moreover, confirmed 
the government of Larut upon Nghar Ibrahim. 
This appointment was apparently in considera- 
tion of his having found the indemnity money. 
The Sultan soon afterwards promoted Nghar 
Ibrahim to the high office of Orang Kaya 
Mantri of Perak, one of the Mantri Ampat or 
four chief officers, and before long he was 
acknowledged to be practically the indepen- 
dent ruler of Larut, including a district 
between the river Krian on the north and the 
river Bruas on the south. The Laksamana's 
name seems to have been added merely to 
give weight to the appointment ; he had never 
held authority in Larut. From that period 
until 1872 the Mantri enjoyed all the royalties 
and other revenues of the country. These had 
much increased with the growth of the 
Chinese population, whose numbers at the close 
of 1871 amounted to forty thousand, while the 
imports that year into Pinang of tin, the 
greater part of which came from Larut, 
amounted to 1,276,518 dollars. Circumstances, 
however, had already occurred to show that he 
was losing his control over the miners ; and 
when, in February, 1872, disturbances com- 
menced between the two factions, he was 
practically powerless. As has been stated, the 
fighting resulted in the complete defeat of the 
Go Kwan party and their expulsion from the 
country. With August, 1872, opened the 
second stage of the Larut disturbances. On 
August 27th the Mantri addressed a letter to 



the Lieutenant-Governor of Pinang (Mr. Camp- 
bell), in which he made bitter complaints of 
" the trouble that had now befallen him." He 
asserted that the Go Kwans were collecting to 
attack him, and that many of his relatives were 
siding with them. On the 6th of September 
the Lieutenant-Governor, in forwarding papers 
on the subject, reported that he feared there 
was much bad feeling abroad, as evidenced by 
the attempt made a few days before to stab Ho 
Gie Slew, the chief of the victorious See Kwan 
faction. Later in the same month, on the 28th, 
Too Tye Sin, one of the principal Chinese in 
Pinang, forwarded a petition signed by forty- 
four Chinese traders directly accusing the 
Mantri of having assented to the proceedings 
of the See Kwans, and claiming protection 
from the Government. This seems to have 
been designed as an announcement of their 
intention to recommence hostilities. It was 
followed, at all events, on the i6th of October 
by the departure from Pinang of a large junk 
manned with one hundred Chinese and armed 
with twelve 4-pounder guns. In anticipation of 
fighting, the Lieutenant-Governor proceeded 
in H.M.S. Nassau to Larut. He returned to 
Pinang on the i8th. The Governor, in com- 
menting on his proceedings, observed that he 
should have required the junks to desist from 
their illegal proceedings, which were in 
contravention of the provisions of the Penal 
Code. In consequence of this a proclamation 
was issued in Pinang citing the sections of 
the Code bearing upon the matter. But the 
mischief had then been done. The two 
factions were engaged in a deadly fight, and, 
thanks to the assistance from Pinang, the See 
Kwans were ousted from the mines. With 
them went the Mantri, who had got into bad 
odour with both parties. 

Meanwhile, affairs along the coast had 
assumed a condition of such gravity as to 
necessitate the adoption of special measures by 
the British authorities. Early in August, owing 
to attacks on boats and junks near Province 
Wellesley, H.M.S. Midge had been sent to 
patrol that part of the straits. Some piratical 
craft were captured, but the force available 
was too small to cope with the marauders, who 
skilfully and successfully evaded the man-of- 
war's boats by sending their larger vessels to 
sea and concealing their war boats and prahus 
in the numerous creeks along the sea-board. 
On September i6th the Midge's boat, while 
proceeding up the Larut river, was fired upon 
by the faction opposing the Mantri, who held 
the banks. The fire was briskly returned, but 
owing to the native pilot bolting below on the 
firing of the first shot, the boat got ashore and 
the position of the inmates was for a time one 
of some danger. It was got off eventually, but 
not before two officers had been seriously 
wounded. In consequence of this outrage 
Captain Woolcombe, the senior naval officer on 
the station, proceeded in H.M.S. Thalia to the 
Larut river, and on the 20th of September an 
attack was made under his direction upon the 
enemy's position. The stockade was carried 
in a brilliant manner, and three junks form- 
ing part of the defences were also captured. 
Having dismounted all the guns and spiked 
them, and thrown the small arms found in the 
stockade into the river, Captain Woolcombe 

burnt the junks. Afterwards he directed his 
forces against another stockade further up the 
river. By this time the enemy had lost their 
zest for the fight, and the British contingent 
met with little further opposition. The punish- 
ment administered had a great moral effect on 
the piratical faction. From three thousand to 
four thousand of the See Kwaris there and 
then tendered their submission, and there can 
be no doubt that if the success had been 
followed up an end would have been made to 
the struggle which had for so long a period 
raged in the district. As things were, the 
fighting continued in a desultory fashion for 
some time longer, a hand being taken in the 
later phases by Captain T. C. Speedy, who 
had resigned his post as Port-Officer of 
Pinang to assist the Mantri with a specially 
recruited force of Indians. 

Sir Andrew Clarke's first business on taking 
up the reins of government was to thoroughly 
acquaint himself with the situation in all its 
aspects. He was not long in coming to the 
conclusion that the anarchy must be stopped 


by the action of the Government, but as to 
what that action should be he was not quite 
clear. A proposal to invoke the intervention 
of the Malay rulers was rejected as absolutely 
hopeless, and a suggestion that the Chinese 
Government should be asked to send a man- 
darin to play the part of mediator was found 
equally objectionable. Direct intervention 
appeared to be also out of the question because 
the Government was suspect owing to its 
having favoured one party. Eventually, as a 
last resource Sir Andrew Clarke empowered 
Mr. W. A. Pickering, an able official who 
had charge of Chinese affairs at Singapore, to 
seek out the headmen and sound them infor- 
mally as to whether they would accept the 
Governor as an arbitrator in their quarrel. 
Such was Mr. Pickering's influence over the 
Chinese and their trust in his integrity, that 
he had little difficulty in persuading them to 
submit their dispute to Sir Andrew Clarke for 
adjustment. This important point gained. Sir 
Andrew Clarke lost no time in taking action. 

He immediately issued invitations to the Perak 
chiefs and the Chinese headmen to a con- 
ference, which he fixed for January 14th at the 
Bindings. Arriving at the rendezvous on the 
13th, the Governor had several interviews with 
the chiefs, separately and together. He was 
agreeably surprised to find the Raja Muda a 
man of considerable intelligence, and possess- 
ing perfect confidence in his ability to maintain 
his position if once placed in Perak as its 
legitimate ruler. All the chiefs except the 
Mantri of Larut were prepared at once to 
receive him as their sovereign. Therefore, at 
the final meeting on the 20th of January, Sir 
Andrew Clarke announced his intention to 
support the Raja Muda. As regards the 
Chinese disputants, an arrangement was come 
to under which the leaders of both factions 
pledged themselves under a penalty of 50,000 
dollars to keep the peace towards each other 
and towards the Malays and to complete the 
disarmament of their stockades. A commission 
of three officers was appointed to settle the 
question of the right to the mines and to 
endeavour to discover and release a number of 
women and children held captive by the 
victorious party. 

As an outcome of the conference we have 
the Treaty of Pangkor of June 20, 1874, giving 
force to the arrangements already detailed as 
to the Dindings and Province Wellesley, and 
containing these important provisions : 

"That the Sultan receive and provide a 
suitable residence for a British officer, to be 
called Resident, who shall be accredited to his 
Court, and whose advice must be asked and 
acted upon in all questions other than those 
touching Malay religion and custom. 

"That the collection and control of all 
revenues and the general adminish-ation of 
the country be regulated under the advice of 
these Residents." 

Thus at one stroke the British Government, 
for good or for evil, was committed to that 
active intervention in Malay affairs from which 
it had shrunk with almost morbid dislike for a 
century. It was not without trepidation that 
Sir Andrew Clarke reported what he had done 
to the Colonial Secretary. " I am perfectly 
aware," he wrote, " that I have acted beyond 
my instructions, and that nothing but very 
urgent circumstances would justify the step I 
have taken, but I have every confidence that 
her Majesty's Government will feel that the 
circumstances at the time — the utter stoppage 
of all trade, the daily loss of lite by the 
piratical attacks on even peaceful traders and 
by the fighting of the factions themselves, and 
the imminent peril of the disturbances ex- 
tending to the Chinese in our own settlement — 
justified me in assuming the responsibility I 
have taken." The Governor did not lack 
backing at this important juncture. The Straits 
Settlements Association addressed a communi- 
cation to the Colonial Secretary on March 6, 
1874, expressing entire satisfaction with the 
proceedings and intimating that they con- 
sidered the negotiations so successfully carried 
out by Sir Andrew Clarke as constituting " the 
most important step that has for many years 
been taken by the British Government in the 
Straits of Malacca " — for they were not only 
valuable in themselves, but involved principles 



" capable of a wide and beneficent extension in 
the neighbouring territories." 

It now remained to give effect to ' tlie 
arrangements whicli Sir Andrew Clarlie had 
made under cover of the general instructions 
given to him by Lord Kimberley. The task 
was not an easy one, for the country had been 
so long under the domination of the fomenters 
of disorder that it was diflicult for a mere 
handful of Englishmen, backed by no physical 
force, or very little, to win it over to the paths 
of peace. However, the Commissioners, three 

women and children, and finally crossed the 
defile between the Larut and Perak valleys, 
reached the bank of the Perak river at Kuala 
Kangsn, secured a country boat, and in her 
paddled a hundred miles down the Perak 
river to the village of Sultan Abdullah, where 
they found their steamer and returned to 
Pinang, having completely accomplished their 

About the same period as the Commission 
was prosecuting its investigations a portion of 
the China Fleet, under the Admiral, Sir Charles 

the Sultan's village in his yacht and invited the 
chief to visit him to talk matters over. The old 
fellow obeyed the summons, and proved a 
most interesting, and, in some respects, enter- 
taining guest. Mr. Irving, who saw him at the 
time, described him as "an elderly-looking 
gentleman of fifty or sixt\' years of age, an 
opium-smoker, but not to excess, having his 
senses perfectly about him, and quite able to 
manage his affairs if he pleased ; but from 
indolence he had got into the habit of not 
himself interfering so long as he was left at 


(The photo was taken at Paiigkor, in the Dindings.) 

Sir Wm, Drummond Jervois, the Governor of the Straits Settlements, is seated in the middle of the group. Standing on his left, with his hand upon a sword, is Mr. J. W. Birch, 
the first British Resident of Perak, who was murdered in 1875 ; while the youthful figure leaning upon the banister on the extreme right of the picture is Mr. (afterwards 
Sir) Frank Swettenham. On the Governor's immediate right is Lieut, (now Sir) Henry McCallum, then Assistant Colonial Engineer of the Straits Settlements, and next to 
him is Captain Innes, R.E., who was killed at the attack on the stockade at Pasir Salak in 1875. The tall bearded ofiicer standing upon the steps is Captain Speedy, 
of .\byssinia fame. 

British officials and a Chinaman, the head of 
the See Kwan faction, embarked upon their 
duties with a resolute determination to succeed, 
if success were possible. Sir Frank Swetten- 
ham, who was one of the trio of officials, 
gives in his book a moving picture of the 
obstacles encountered by the Commissioners in 
what were then the almost impenetrable vifilds 
of Larut.- "The Commission," he says in 
summarising their proceedings, " visited many 
out-of-the-way places in the Larut, Krian, and 
Selama districts, in search of the captive 

Shadwell, was demonstrating off Selangor the 
determination of the Government to suppress 
once for all the ph-acy which was rife off that 
coast. The incident which had led to this dis- 
play of power was the pirating of a large 
Malacca boat at the entrance of the Jugra 
river, a tidal creek communicating with the 
Langat river. The case was a bad one, and 
it lost nothing of its gravity in the eyes of the 
British authorities from the circumstance that 
the Sultan's sons were implicated in it. Sir 
Andrew Clarke went up the Langat river to 

peace to enjoy himself in his own way — a rather 
careless heathen philosopher, who showed his 
character in one of the conversations on the 
subject of piracy, when he said, " Oh ! those 
are the affairs of the boys " (meaning his sons). 
"I have nothing to do with them." Sir Frank 
Swettenham knew the Sultan intimately, and 
he gives a sketch of him which tallies with 
this description. The Sultan was supposed, he 
said, to have killed ninety -nine men with his 
own hand, and he did not deny the imputa- 
tion. He was " a spare, wizened man, with a 

E * 



kindly smile, fond of a good story, and with 
a strong sense of humour. His amusements 
were gardening (in which he sometimes 
showed remarkable energy), hoarding money 
and tin, of which he was supposed to have a 
very large store buried under his house, and 
smoking opium to excess." 

Sir Andrew Clarke took the old fellow in 
hand, and gave him a thoroughly undiplomatic 
talking to on the disgraceful state of affairs in 
his State. The Sultan, so far from resenting 
this treatment, entered quite into the spirit of 
the Governor's plans, and promised to do his 
utmost to forward them. He was as good as 
his word ; and when in due course the 
prisoners had been tried by the Viceroy and 
sentenced to death, he sent his own kris for 
use at the execution. The episode had a most 
salutary effect upon the pirates of the locality. 
There was plenty of trouble afterwards in the 
State itself, but piracy did not again raise its 
head in a serious form. Meanwhile, affairs 
were proceeding satisfactorily in I^arut. Mr, 
Birch, the Colonial Secretary, who made a 
tour of the area early in 1874, was greatly 
impressed with all he saw. He found the 
Resident busily engaged in laying out streets and 
building lots, and was surprised to find many 
respectable and substantial houses already 
constructed. All around was an animated 
scene of industry and good-fellowship, where 
only a few weeks before there was nothing 
but misery, ruin, and bloodshed. The road to 
the mines, which had been given over to the 
Go Kwan Chinese, was in very fair order for 
carts along eight miles of its length, shops 
were rapidly being opened, and large bodies 
of men were engaged in reopening the mines. 
Mr. Birch added these details, which are of 
interest as an indication of the whole-hearted 
way in which the settlement arranged b}' Sir 
Andrew Clarke had been accepted : 

" The See Kwan mines are situated about two 
miles further, and here also a small township 
was forming rapidly, and it is anticipated that a 
few months hence this road also will be com- 
pleted. The miners here are already at work, 
and although a short time ago a deadly feud 
of some years' duration existed between these 
two factions, the See Kwan miners are now 
to be seen daily bartering at the shops and 
feeding at the eating-houses in the Go Kwan 
town. The Chinese have already opened 
gardens, and even in these few weeks a fair 
supply of vegetables was available. 

" The results of the tour may be considered 
to be satisfactory. The greatest courtesy and 
kindness were exhibited by the chiefs and in- 
habitants of all the villages except Blanja ; 
and in the interior a good deal of curiosity 
was evinced by the natives, some of whom 
had never seen a white man before. The 
whole country traversed was at peace, and 
there is reason to anticipate that the appoint- 
ment of British Residents will foster the 
feeling of security that now prevails, and thus 
tend to develop the resources of the peninsula." 

Unhappily, these sanguine expectations were 
not realised ; but it was so generally believed 
that the Residential principle would cure once 
for all the grievous malady from which the 
Malay States were suffering, that when, on 
September 15, il<74, the Government of the 

Straits Settlements had occasion to seek sanc- 
tion for an expenditure of 54,000 dollars on 
account of the expenses incurred in putting 
the new arrangements into operation, the grant 
was made by the Legislative Council with 
unanimity, and even enthusiasm. 


The Development of the Residential 
System — Murder of Mr. Birch. 

A\'hen the Residential system was introduced 
into the Malay States by Sir .Andrew Clarke in 
the circumstances described in the previous 
chapter, it was hoped that at last a remedy had 
been found for the misgovernment and anarchy 
under which the country had been groaning 
for generations. Neither the authorities on the 
spot nor the Government at home had, how- 
ever, made sufficient allowance for the tenacity 
of the evil system which it was hoped to 
obliterate by moral suasion exercised by a few 
British officials. Too much reliance was prob- 
ably placed on the successful working of the 
Residential system in India. It was forgotten, 
or at least overlooked, that the conditions under 
which this form of supervision was exercised 
in that country were totally different to those 
existing in the Malay States. In India the 
native chiefs had been accustomed by gene- 
rations of usage to regard the British official 
placed in their midst as an authoritative ex- 
ponent of the views of the suzerain Power. 
Experience, oftentimes bitter, had taught them 
that it was useless to kick against the pricks, 
and they knew that though an official might 
be changed the system would exist, dislike it 
as they might. Quite different was the position 
in Malaya, where a sturdy race, with marked 
independence of character, and with their 
naturally pugnacious qualities sharpened by 
generations of incessant strife, had to be 
brought to the realisation of the existence of 
a new influence which meant for many of 
them the loss of much that went to make life, 
if not enjoyable, at least interesting. It was 
the old story of Britain trying to accomplish 
a great work with inadequate means. The 
Government wanted to bring the Malay States 
under their control, and they foolishly, as it 
seems to-day, as it ought to have appeared even 
then, expected they could achieve the desired 
result by simply placing their agents at par- 
ticular points to direct the perverse Malay 
character into the paths of peace rather than 
into those of rapine and demoralising inter- 
necine war. A rude awakening awaited the 
authorities before the new arrangements had 
been long in operation. 

The new regime was ushered in by a pro- 
clamation issued by Sir Andrew Clarke in 
Xovember, 1874, announcing the introduction, 
with the sanction of the Secretary for the 
Colonies, of arrangements for the control of 
the Malay States, and intimating that the 
Government would hold those concerned to 
the strict observance of their engagements. 
At the same time the following appointments 
were made public : Mr. J. W. Birch, Resident 
of Perak on a salary of ^2,000 a year, with 

Captain Speedy as Assistant-Resident at Larut 
on ;£i,5oo a year ; Mr. J. G. Davidson, Resident 
of Selangor (attending on the Viceroy Tunku 
Dia Oodin) on £1,500 a year, with Mr. (after- 
wards Sir) F. A. Swettenham as Assistant on 
.£750 a year. Captain Tatham, R.A., was 
appointed, as a temporary measure, Assistant- 
Resident of Sungei Ujong. At the outset all 
seemed fairly plain sailing. The Residents' 
authority was outwardly respected, their advice 
was listened to, and the revenue in Larut, 
which under the Treaty was to be collected 
by the British, was got in without trouble. 
But beneath the surface there was a smoulder- 
ing discontent ready to burst into flame, given 
the proper amount of provocation. And the 
provocation was not wanting. It was forth- 
coming in numerous ways from the moment 
that the British officials, with their notions of 
equity and justice and their direct methods of 
dealing, came into contact with the life of the 
States. The collection of revenue in Larut 
touched the Mantri on a raw spot, and the 
Mantri was an influential personage whose ill- 
will meant much in a situation such as that 
which existed at the time. He was not alone 
in his dissatisfaction at the turn of events. 
Raja Ismail resented Abdullah's recognition 
as Sultan, and the people generally sided with 
him. Raja Yusuf was, if anything, more 
inimical to the new regime. He did not even 
trouble to conceal his intention to upset it if he 
could. Sultan Abdullah himself fretted under 
the chains which the new dispensation im- 
posed upon his ill-regulated methods of what, 
for want of a better term, we may call govern- 
ment. While there was this disaffection 
amongst the chiefs, there were influences in 
operation disturbing the minds of the general 
body of the population. Mr. Birch, with the 
honest Briton's hatred of oppression, interested 
himself energetically in the righting of wrongs, 
of which Perak at that period furnished abun- 
dant examples. One practice against which he 
set his face resolutely was the custom of debt 
slavery, under which individuals — even women 
and children — were held in bondage to their 
debtors for payments due. How this degrading 
usage worked is well illustrated by a story told 
by Captain Speedy in one of his early reports. 
One day a Malay policeman asked him for the 
loan of 25 dollars. On inquiring the reason 
for this request, Captain Speedy was told that 
the money was required to secure the libera- 
tion of an aunt who was a slave debtor to a 
man in a certain village. She had fallen into 
slavery under the following circumstances. 
Some six months previously the woman was 
passing by a village when she met an acquain- 
tance and stopped to converse with her. Taking 
a stone from the roadside, the man's aunt 
placed it on the pathway, and sat down to rest 
meanwhile. When she departed she left the 
stone on the path. About an hour afterwards 
a child from the village came running along 
the path, and her foot catching against the 
stone, she fell, and slightly cut her forehead. 
Inquiries were made as to how the stone came 
in the path, and the fact of the aunt having 
placed it there becoming known, she was 
arrested, and sentenced to pay 25 dollars. 
Being poor and totally unable to pay, she 
and her children became, according to the 



Malay phrase, " bar-utang " — or slaves — to the 
father of the child who had been hurt. Cap- 
tain Speedy paid the fine, and secured the 
release of the woman and her children, but 
not without considerable difficulty. Such a 
system, of course, was utterly subversive of . 
all personal rights, but it was a usage which 
had immemorial sanction amongst the Malays, 
and they adhered to it with a tenacity charac- 
teristic of a people who are deeply attached 
to their national habits. Mr. Birch's efforts to 
suppress it, persistently and resolutely prose- 
cuted, were bitterly resented, and by none 
more than by the chiefs, who were amongst 
the worst offenders. The almost natural 
results followed. " The chiefs of every grade," 
says Sir Frank Swettenham, " made common 
cause against a Resident who scoured the 
country, inquired into and pushed home their 
evil deeds, and endeavoured to put a stop to 
them. Therefore, some began to conspire to 
compass his death or removal, and others 
looked idly on, conscious of what was brew- 
ing, but not anxious to take a hand if they 
could avoid it. Only the poor and oppressed 
recognised and were grateful for all the many 
kindnesses they received from the Resident ; 
for when he was not busy finding out all about 
the country and its resources, or writing in- 
structions and suggestions for its development 
and administration, he was tending the sick or 
giving generous help to those most in need of 
it. Unfortunately, he did not speak Malay or 
understand the customs and prejudices of the 
people, and to this cause more than any other 
his death must be attributed." 

Before the circumstances under which Mr. 
Birch was killed are narrated, it is necessary 
to make a survey of the general position as it 
existed in the months immediately preceding 
the deplorable event. When Sir W. F. D. 
Jervois arrived in Singapore as the successor 
to Sir Andrew Clarke at the end of May, 
187s, he found himself confronted with reports 
from the Residents revealing a very unsatis- 
factory state of affairs in the Malay States. 
There was considerable unrest and an in- 
creasing disposition on the part of the chiefs 
to oppose the Residents. The new Governor 
set himself to study very carefully the problem 
with which it was obvious he would soon have 
to deal — the problem of harmonising British 
supervision of the States with a proper regard 
for native rights and susceptibilities. He came 
to the conclusion, after several months' investi- 
gation, that it would be wise for him to examine 
the situation on the spot, with the help of those 
best in a position to give him advice and assis- 
tance. Accordingly he proceeded to Perak, 
interviewed Sultan Abdullah, Raja Ismael, 
and Raja Yusuf, conferred with Mr. Birch 
and Mr. Davidson, and then returned to Singa- 
pore. The impression he obtained from his 
journey was that the arrangements made by 
his predecessor had broken down, and that a 
change in methods was imperatively de- 
manded. He therefore determined on his 
own authority to make a new departure of a 
rather striking kind. He decided to convert 
the Residents into Commissioners, and to give 
them with the new title a more tangible status 
as advisers in the States. A proclamation em- 
bodying the Governor's views was drawn up. 

and the Sultan Abdullah was required to sign 
documents accepting the new policy. He 
resolutely declined for a time to do what was 
required, but with the exercise of considerable 
pressure, and after he had received not obscure 
hints that he would be deposed if he did not 
yield, he appended his signature. In adopting 
the course he did Sir Wm. Jervois was doubtless 
actuated by the best motives, but it must be 
acknowledged that he took to himself an 
astonishing amount of liberty, having regard 
to the grave issues involved. At least it might 
have been expected that he would have in- 
formed the Government at home by cable of 
the fact that he had been driven to inaugurate 
changes. He, however, failed to do so, and 
later, as we shall see, drew upon himself an 
uncommon measure of rebuke for his inde- 
pendent action. 

When the proclamations had been fully 
prepared, arrangements were made for their 
distribution in the districts concerned as an 
outward and visible token of the determination 
of the Government to make their supervision 
of the States a reality. Mr. Swettenham took 


with him from Singapore a bundle of the docu- 
ments and handed them over to Mr. Birch at 
Bandar Bharu. " I found him,'' writes the 
gifted administrator (whose vivid narrative of 
this tragic episode in the history of the Malay 
States is the best account of the occurrences 
extant) " suffering from a sprained ankle and 
only able to walk with the help of crutches. 
Lieut. Abbott, R.N., and four bluejackets were 
with him, and on the night of my arrival the 
sergeant-major of Mr. Birch's Indian guard 
(about eighty Pathans, Sikhs, and Punjabis) 
behaved so badly that he had to be confined 
in the guard-room, while his men were in 
a state bordering on mutiny. 

" It was then arranged that I should go up 
river to a village called Kota Lama, above 
Kuala Kangsa, a village with the worst repute 
in Perak, and distribute the proclamations in 
the Upper Country, returning about the 3rd of 
November to meet Mr. Birch at Pasir Salak, 
the village of the Maharaja Lela, five miles 
above Bandar Bharu. Mr. Birch, meanwhile, 
was to go down river and distribute the pro- 
clamations amongst Abdullah's adherents, 

where no trouble was expected, and we were 
to join forces at Pasir Siilak because the 
Maharaja Lela was believed to have declared 
that he would not take instructions from the 
Resident, and it was known that he had built 
himself a new house and had recently been 
protecting it by a strong earthwork and 
palisade. Therefore, if there was to be 
trouble it would probably be there. What 
was only disclosed long afterwards was that, 
as soon as he had consented to the new 
arrangement, Abdullah summoned his chiefs 
(including the Maharaja Lela and the Dato' 
Siigor, who lived at Kampong Gajah, on the 
opposite bank of the river to Pasir Salak) and 
told them that he had handed over the 
government of the country to Mr. Birch. The 
Maharaja Lela, however, said that he would 
not accept any orders from the Resident, and 
if Mr. Birch came to his Kampong he would 
kill him. Asked whether he really intended 
to keep his word, he replied that he certainly 
meant it. The Dato' Sagor also said that he 
was of one mind with the Maharaja Lela. 
The meeting then broke up and the members 
returned to their own villages. Later, when 
the proclamations arrived, the Sultan again 
sent for the chiefs, showed them the papers, 
and asked what they thought of them. The 
Laksamana said, ' Down here, in the lower 
part of the river, we must accept them.' But 
the Maharaja Lela said, ' In my Kampong, I 
will not allow any white man to post these 
proclamations. If they insist, there will cer- 
tainly be a fight.' To this the Sultan and the 
other chiefs said, 'Very well.' The Maharaja 
Lela immediately left, and, having loaded his 
boats with rice, returned up river to his own 

Mr. Swettenham left Bandar Bharu at noon 
on October 28th, and as he went up stream 
Mr. Birch was proceeding down. The further 
Mr. Swettenham went up the river the more 
threatening became the talk. He, however, 
posted his proclamations at various points 
without encountering any overt act of hostility. 
On November 4th, his work being done, he 
started down river, intending to spend the night 
at Blanja ; but on arriving there he was told that 
Mr. Birch had been killed by the Maharaja 
Lela's people at Pasir Salak on November 2nd. 
The news induced him to continue his journey, 
and though he had been informed that the river 
had been staked at Pasir Salak with the object of 
intercepting him, his boats passed that danger 
point without being challenged. At daylight 
the next morning he returned up the river to 
Bandar Bharu and there and afterwards heard 
the details of Mr. Birch's assassination. 

He had done his work in the low country 
more quickly than he expected, and reached 
Pasir Salak at midnight on November 1st 
with three boats, containing the Resident, 
Lieut. Abbott, R.N., a guard of twelve Sikhs, 
an orderly, a Malay interpreter, and a number 
of boatmen. In all the party numbered about 
forty men, and they had plenty of arms and 
anununition. They anchored in midstream for 
the night, and at daylight hauled to the bank, 
when Mr. Abbott crossed to the other side of 
the river to shoot snipe, and Mr. Birch sent a 
message to the Maharaja Lela to say that he 
would be glad to see him, either at the boats 



or in his own house. To the interpreter who 
carried the message the chief said, " I have 
nothing to do with Mr. Birch." 

" Some days earlier the Maharaja Lela 
had summoned all his people and told them 
that Mr. Birch would shortly come to Pasir 
Salak, and if he attempted to post any notices 
there the orders of the Sultan and the down- 
river chiefs were that he should be killed. The 
people replied that if those were the orders 
they would carry them out, and the Maharaja 
Lela then handed his sword to a man called 
Pandak Indut, his father-in-law, and told the 
people to take Pandak Indut's directions as 
though they were his own. Directly Mr. 
Birch arrived messengers were sent out to 
collect the people, and, before the sun was hot, 
there were already about seventy armed men 
on the bank above Mr. Birch's boats. The 
Dato' Sagor had come over from the other side 
(in the boat which had taken Mr. Abbott 
across), and he had seen and spoken to Mr. 
Birch and was now with the Maharaja Lela. 
By Mr. Birch's orders the interpreter posted a 
proclamation on the shop of a Chinese gold- 
smith, close to the bank, and this paper was 
torn down by Pandak Indut and taken to 
the Maharaja Lela, the occurrence being at the 
same time reported to Mr. Birch. The crowd 
on the bank were showing distinct signs of 
restiveness ; but the boatmen began to make 
fires to cook rice, and Mr. Birch went to take 
his bath in a floating bath-house by the river 
bank, his Sikh orderly standing at the door 
with a loaded revolver. The interpreter was 
putting up another copy of the proclamation 
when Panduk Indut tore it down, and as the 
interpreter remonstrated, Pandak Indut thrust 
a spear into him and cried out, ' .^mok ! 
amok ! ' The crowd instantly rushed for the 
bath-house, and attacked the boatmen and any 
of the Resident's party within reach. Spears 
were thrust through the bath-house, and Mr. 
Birch sank into the river, coming to the surface 
just below the bath-house, when he was im- 
mediately slashed on the head with a sword 
and was not seen again. Mr. Birch's Sikh 
orderly had jumped into the river when the 
first rush was made at the bath-house, and he 
swam to a boat, taking great care to save the 
revolver, which he had not fired, from getting 
wet ! The interpreter struggled to the river, 
and was helped into a boat by two of Mr. 
Birch's Malays, but he died very shortly after- 
wards. A Sikh and a Malay boatman were 
also killed, and several of the others were 
wounded ; but the rest with great difficulty got 
away. Mr. Abbott, on the other bank, was 
warned of what had occurred, and managed to 
get a dugout and escape, running the fire from 
both banks. 

"Then the Maharaja Lela came out and asked 
who were those who had actually had a hand 
in the killing. Pandak Indut and the others at 
once claimed credit for the deed, and the chief 
ordered that only those who had struck blows 
should share in the spoils. Then he said, ' Go 
and tell the Laksamana I have killed Mr. 
Birch.' The message was duly delivered, and 
the Laksamana said, ' Very well, I will inform 
the Sultan.' The same evening the Maharaja 
Lela sent Mr. Birch's boat to Blanja, with the 
letter to ex-Sultan Ismail describing what he 

had done. Ismail was much too clever to keep 
the boat, so he sent it back again. All the 
arms and other property were removed to the 
Maharaja Lela's house, and orders were given 
to build stockades, to stake the river, and to 
amok the Resident's station at Bandar Bharu. 
The party sent on this last errand returned 
without accomplishing their object ; for when 
they got near the place it began to rain, and 
the people in the house where they took shelter 
told them that they would get a warm recep- 
tion at Bandar Bliaru, and it would be quite 
a different thing to murdering the Resident." 

By the help of a friendly Malay, a foreigner, 
Mr. Birch's body was recovered and buried at 
Bandar Bharu on November 6th. 

The news of Mr. Birch's assassination 
speedily reached Singapore and created a pain- 
ful sensation. There had often been trouble 
with the Malays, but in the whole history of 
British dealings with the race, from the time that 
British power had become firmly established 
in the Straits, there had never been previously 
a case in which a leading official had been put 
to death in the treacherous circumstances 
which marked this incident. Sir William 
Jervois took immediate steps to strengthen 
the British forces in the disturbed area. A 
detachment consisting of two officers and 
60 men of the loth Regiment was sent 
immediately from Pinang, and arrangements 
were made for further reinforcements. The 
Governor believed at the time that the murder 
was an isolated incident which might be dealt 
with without difficulty, and he cabled to the 
Government at home in that sense. But he 
was speedily disillusioned. The Pinang de- 
tachment, reinforced by four bluejackets and a 
small body of Sikhs, on attempting to carry 
Pasir Salak, failed. Meanwhile ominous 
rumours were daily coming in of serious 
trouble in Selangor and the Negri Sambilan. 
In the circumstances Sir Williain Jervois 
deemed it wise to make a requisition on the 
home Government for a considerable force 
of white troops to overcome the disaffected 
elements in the States and restore British 
prestige. The demand seriously disturbed the 
equanimity of the authorities in Downing 
Street, whose natural dishke of " little wars " 
in this instance was accentuated by a belief 
that the trouble had been brought on by the 
high-handed policy of the Governor. Lord 
Carnarvon peremptorily cabled out for informa- 
tion and wanted to know why a force of 1,500 
bayonets, with artillery, 50 miles of telegraphic 
apparatus, and a million of cartridges — the 
specific requisition made — should be required 
to deal with an " isolated outrage." 

Sir William Jervois was absent from Singa- 
pore directing the preparations for the sup- 
pression of the disturbances when the message 
arrived. Receiving no reply, the Secretary for 
the Colonies telegraphed again in urgent terms, 
intimating that the Government disapproved 
altogether of the Governor's policy, and that 
the troops which were being sent " must not 
be employed for annexation or other political 
objects." " Her Majesty's Government," the 
message proceeded, " cannot adopt the prin- 
ciple of the permanent retention of troops 
in peninsula to maintain Residents or other 
officers ; and unless natives are willing to 

receive them on footing originally sanctioned 
of simply advising the ruling authorities I 
doubt whether their continuance in the country 
can be sanctioned." Lord Carnarvon followed 
this communication with a despatch by post 
in which he referred severely to "the grave 
errors of policy and of action" which had 
marked the Governor's policy. Sir William 
Jervois explained by cable that the large body 
of troops asked for was required for the re- 
assertion of British authority, and to prevent 
the spread of the disturbances in adjoining dis- 
tricts. At a later period Lord Carnarvon 
again, and at much greater length, addressed 
Sir William Jervois, the despatch being a 
review of the latter's own despatch of October 
l6th previously, in which he for the first time 
described the new policy which he was in- 
augurating. The Secretary for the Colonies 
referred particularly to a passage in this 
despatch in which the Governor said that 
before his interviews with the chiefs he had 
inclined to the opinion that the best course 
to adopt would be to declare Perak British 
territory ; but that on weighing well the im- 
pressions conveyed by the interviews with the 
chiefs, it did not appear to be expedient at 
present that this course should be adopted, 
and he had therefore determined, if the Sultan 
could be induced to agree, to adopt the policy 
of governing Perak by British oflicers in his 
name. Commenting on this. Lord Carnarvon 
acridly remarked that he did not know how 
far this middle course differed from an as- 
sumption of actual sovereignty, but what had 
been done constituted " large and important 
changes as to which you had no ground for 
supposing that her Majesty's Government 
would approve a very material departure from 
the policy which had been previously sanc- 
tioned as an experiment." It would, of course, 
have been right and proper, if he were con- 
vinced of the inefficacy of the existing 
arrangements, if he had laid his proposals 
before Government. But instead of doing 
that he at once issued a proclamation which 
altered the whole system of government and 
affected in a more or less degree avast number 
of individual interests, provoking apparently 
the crisis with which they had now to contend. 
The despatch suggested that if it had been 
found necessary to introduce a change of 
policy the telegraph ought to have been used. 
" I am altogether unable to understand how 
you came to omit this obvious duty," proceeded 
Lord Carnarvon. " I can only conclude that, 
being convinced of the soundness of your own 
judgment, you acted in lamentable forgetful- 
ness of the fact that you had no authority 
whatever for what you were doing." Sir 
William Jervois's reply to these strictures 
cannot be described as con\incing. He argued 
that he had not really changed the policy of 
dealing with the States. The action he had 
taken was, he said, merely a natural develop- 
ment of the policy introduced by Sir Andrew 
Clarke with the sanction of the Government. 
With more force he maintained that the con- 
dition of disorder into which the States had 
fallen could not have been allowed to continue 
without serious detriment to British interests 
immediately, and possibly creating a situation 
later vt-hich would menace the stability of the 



British possessions themselves. Lord Carnar- 
von, in aclcnowledging the despatch, reaffirmed 
his views, and gave emphatic instructions that 
no step affecting the political situation was to 
be taken by the Straits Government pending 
the consideration of the question of future 
policy by the Home Government. On June i, 
1876, Lord Carnarvon wrote sanctioning the 
continuance of the Residential system, and 
also approving the institution of Councils of 
State in the protected States. The despatch 
strongly insisted upon the exercise of caution 
in the execution of this policy. 

While this angry controversy was proceed- 
ing a strong British force was operating in the 
disturbed area. At quite an early stage in the 
little campaign the local troops, reinforced by 
a naval brigade, had wiped out the initial 
failure at Pasir Salak, in which Captain Innes, 
R.E., had been killed, and two officers of the 
loth Regiment severely wounded, by carry- 
ing the stockade at that point, and burning the 
villages of the Maharaja Lela and the Dato' 
Sagor. But the country by this time was 
thoroughly aroused, and the expeditionary 
force proved none too large for the work in 
hand. The troops consisted of the 3rd (Buffs) 
Regiment, 600 strong, 300 officers and men of 
the 8oth Regiment, 200 officers and men of the 
loth Regiment, a battery and half of Royal 
Artillery, the 1st Gurkhas, 450 strong, and a 
party of Bengal sappers numbering 80 men. 
There was also a strong naval brigade, drawn 
from H.M.'s ships Mocieste, Thistle, Philomel, 
Ringdove, and Fly. The whole were under the 
command of Major-General the Hon. F. Col- 
borne, C.B., and Brigadier-General John Ross. 
With the headquarters of the China troops 
established at Bandar Bharu, and with the 
Indian troops based at Kuala Kangsa, a series 
of expeditions was organised against the dis- 
affected Malays under the Maharaja Lela, 
the Dato' Sagor, and the ex-Sultan Ismail. 
Transport difficulties hampered the movements 
of the troops considerably, but eventually the 
Maharaja Lela was driven' across the border 
into Kedah, and the country settled down. 
Perak continued to be occupied by British 
troops for some little time after the restoration 
of peace. Their presence had a good effect in 
convincing the natives that the old order had 
been changed irrevocably, and when at length 
they were replaced with a police force, the out- 
look was perfectly peaceful. Meanwhile, how- 
ever, the situation in the Negri Sambilan was 
causing a good deal of anxiety. An attack on 
a survey party, despatched from Sungei Ujong 
across the border into Terachi, led up to a series 
of military operations of a somewhat arduous 
character. The Malays fought with determi- 
nation, and it required a very considerable 
force to dispose of them. They were ultimately 
driven off, thanks to the courageous action of 
Captain Channer, who, with a party of Gur- 
khas, rushed a stockade which commanded the 
rest of the position. For this gallantry Captain 
Channer was awarded the Victoria Cross — a 
decoration which he had richly earned, for his 
act was not only a singularly brave one, but it 
was the main factor in bringing to a successful 
conclusion what might have been a long, 
wearisome, and costly business. 

On the termination of the military operations. 

it only remained to mete out justice to those 
who had been directly concerned in Mr. 
Birch's assassination. Information collected 
by a Commission specially appointed to in- 
vestigate the troubles plainly pointed to the 
Sultan Abdullah, the Mantri, the Dato' Laksa- 
mana, and the Dato' Shabandar as the accom- 
plices of the Maharaja Lela and Pandak Indut 
in the crime. The four first mentioned were 
all exiled to the Seychelles at a comparatively 
early period of the investigation. The Maha- 
raja Lela and others, after eluding pursuit for 
several months, in July, 1876, gave themselves 
up to the Maharaja of Johore, and by him 
were handed over to the British authorities. 
They were tried at Larut by a special tribunal 
composed of Raja Yusuf and Raja Husein, 
with Mr. Davidson and Mr. W. E. Maxwell as 
British assessors. They were found guilty and 
condemned to death. The Maharaja Lela, 
the Dato' Sagar, and Pandak Indut were 
executed. In the case of the other prisoners 
the sentences were commuted to imprisonment 
for life. Thus was a foul crime avenged. The 
punishment, though severe, was necessary to 


bring home to the population of the Malay 
States the determination of the British Govern- 
ment to protect its officials, and the certainty 
of retribution in cases in which injur}' was 
done to them. Tlie Malays recognised the 
substantial justice of the sentences. The more 
influential of them took the view expressed by 
the two Rajas in announcing their judgment — 
that the accused had not only been guilty of 
murder, but of treason, since they had taken 
upon themselves to assassinate one who had 
been invited to the State by the responsible 
chiefs, and was in a sense the country's guest. 
Politically the trial and its sequel had a great 
and salutary influence throughout the penin- 
sula. It was accepted as a sign that the 
British Government now really meant to 
assert itself, and would no longer tolerate 
the conditions of misgovernment which had 
for generations existed in the States. Opposi- 
tion there continued to be for a good many 
years, as was natural, having regard to the 
Malay character, and the immensity of the 
change which the new order made in 
the national system of life. But there was 
no overt act of hostility, and gradually, as the 

benefits of peace and unhampered trade were 
brought home to them in tangible fashion, the 
inhabitants were completely won over to the 
side of progressive administration. Thus Mr. 
Birch, as Sir Frank Swettenham aptly says, 
did not die in vain. " His death freed the 
country from an abominable thraldom, and 
was indirectly the means of bringing inde- 
pendence, justice, and comfort to tens of 
thousands of sorely oppressed people." 

Lord Carnarvon's instructions that the Resi- 
dential system was to be reintroduced with 
caution were interpreted very literally by the 
Singapore authorities. They dealt with crush- 
ing severity with an official who seemed to 
them to go a little beyond the strict letter of 
his instructions. The offender was Captain 
Douglas, the Resident of Selangor. In the 
early part of 1878 a report was made to him 
that Tunku Panglima, the Panghulu of Kau- 
chong, near the entrance of the Jugra river, a 
member of the Mixed Council on 50 dollars a 
month, had offered a bribe of 40 dollars to 
Mr. Newbrunner, the Collector and Magistrate 
of the district, to influence him in a judicial 
proceeding. Captain Douglas had the peccant 
chief arrested, and subsequently ordered his 
removal from the Council and the reduction of 
his allowance by half to bring home to him 
the enormity of his offence. The matter was 
reported in due course to headquarters at 
Singapore, with results little anticipated by the 
Resident of Selangor. The Executive Council 
same to the unanimous resolution that the 
action of the Resident " was uncalled for and 
extra vires, and that he should be instructed to 
advise the Sultan to reinstate the Panglima 
Raja as a member of Council." Not content 
with this drastic measure. Sir W. C. F. Robinson, 
who in 1877 had succeeded Sir William Jervois 
as Governor on the tatter's appointment to 
report on the defences of Australia, issued the 
following "Instructions to Residents ': "His 
Excellency desires that you should be reminded 
that the Residents have been placed in the 
native States as advisers and not as rulers, and 
if they take upon themselves to disregard this 
principle they will most assuredly be held 
responsible if trouble springs out of their 
neglect of it." Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, the 
successor of Lord Carnarvon as Colonial Secre- 
tary, took a very tolerant view of Captain 
Douglas's lapse. He approved the action of 
the Governor, as he was bound to do, having 
regard to the instructions issued from Downing 
Street by his predecessor, but he spoke of 
Captain Douglas's action as an " error of judg- 
ment," and indulgently remarked that he fully 
recognised the delicacy of the task imposed 
on the Residents, and was aware that much 
must be left to their discretion on occasions 
when prompt and firm action was called for. 
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach's broad way of look- 
ing at this episode, we may assume, was not 
without its effect upon the Government at 
Singapore and the Residential officials. It 
was, at all events, in the spirit of his despatch 
rather than in consonance with the letter of the 
" Instructions to Residents " that the administra- 
tion of the Malay States proceeded during the 
next few years. It was well that it was. so, for 
a lack of courage at the outset — indecision on 
vital matters of principle — would have militated 
E * ■'■ 



seriously against the success of the work in 
hand. Indeed, it may be questioned whethei- 
the magnificent result which we see to-day 
would have been possible if British officials of 
those early days, when everything was in the 
melting-pot, had stood idly by while the native 
chiefs were manipulating the alloys after their 
own fashion. The Residents, who were all 
officials selected for their special knowledge 
of Malays, were not the type of men to accept 
a role of this sort. They knew that British 
administrative capacity and even the national 
prestige was at stake ; they knew further that 
here vi^as a splendid heritage for the Empire to 
be had only for the asking ; so, nothing fearing, 
they kept steadily on their course. They were 
not " rulers," but they were pre-eminently the 
power behind the throne. The ship of State 
was directed whither they wished it to go, and 
they wished it go along the path -of good 
government, which was also the high-road 
to commercial prosperity. 

One of the earliest developments of the re- 
constituted Residential system was the estab- 
lishment of advisory Councils of State. This 
was a very astute move, for it did more to 
secure the support of influential Malays and 
reconcile them to the new regime than any 
other step taken in these early days. The 
Councils, on which there was a mixed repre- 
sentation of chiefs, local officials, and leading 
men, transacted the ordinary business of an 
executive council. They discussed and passed 
legislative enactments, considered revenue ques- 
tions, and the civil and pension lists, and con- 
ferred with the Resident on important matters 
affecting the welfare of the State. The first of 
these Councils was established in Perak, and 
was an immediate success owing to the intelli- 
gent co-operation of the Malay chiefs and the 
general goodwill of the leaders of the foreign 
native community. Selangor later was en- 
dowed with a Council, and the other States, 
after further intervals, followed on the same 
path. "The institution," Sir Frank Swettenham 
says, " served its purpose admirably. The 
Malay members from the first took an intelli- 
gent interest in the proceedings, which were 
always conducted in Malay, and a seat on the 
Council is much coveted and highly prized. A 
tactful Resident could always carry the majority 
with him, and nothing was so useful or effective 
in cases of difficulty as for those who would 
have been obstructive to find that their opinions 
were not shared by others of their own class 
and nationality." 

Perak, as the chief seat of the troubles which 
led to British intervention, was watched anxi- 
ously by the authorities in the period following 
the cessation of hostilities. Happily in Mr. (after- 
wards Sir) Hugh Low the State had an adviser 
of exceptional ability and strength of character. 
His previous service had been in Borneo, 
but he thoroughly understood the Oriental 
character and quicklj' adapted himself to the 
special characteristics of the Malay. His was 
the iron hand beneath the velvet glove. Firm 
and yet conciliatory, he directed the ship of 
State with unerring skill through the shoals 
and quicksands which beset its course in those 
early days when the population, or an influ- 
ential part of it, was smarting under the sense 
of defeat. Perhaps his tactfulness was in no 

direction more strikingly shown than in his 
treatment of the delicate question of debt 
slavery. It was obvious from the first that the 
system was incompatible with British notions 
of sound and just administration. But to in- 
augurate a change was no easy task. The 
practice was, as we have said, a cherished 
Malay custom, and cut deeply into the home 
life of the people. Moreover, abolition meant 
money, and the State at that time was not 
too well endowed with funds. The masterful 
Resident, however, was not to be deterred by 
these considerations from taking up the ques- 
tion. He worked quietly to secure the good- 
will of the chiefs, and having done this, formu- 
lated a scheme by which the State should 
purchase the freedom of all bond slaves, paying 
to their masters a maximum sum of 30 dollars 
for a male and 60 dollars for a female slave. 
The proposals were duly laid before the Perak 
Council, and after discussion unanimously 


adopted, December 31, 1883, being fi.xed as 
the final date for the continuance of the state 
of slavery. The emancipation measures were 
attended by some interesting results. Very 
few freedmen consented to leave their masters 
or mistresses, while the latter on their part 
almost universally said that they set the slaves 
free '• for the glory of God," and refused to take 
the State's money. " How can we take money 
for our friends who have so long lived with us, 
many of them born in our houses ? W'e can 
sell cattle, fruit or rice, but not take money for 
our friends." "Such e.xpressions," Sir Frederick 
Weld wrote in a despatch dated May 3, 18S3, 
"have been used in very many cases in 
different parts of Perak. Many slave children 
whose own mothers are dead always call their 
mistresses 'mother,' and the attachment is 
reciprocal. In fine, this investigation has 
brought into notice many of the fine qualities 
of a most interesting and much maligned race. 

and affords conclusive proof that the abuses 
which are sure to co-exist with slavery could 
not have been general, and bore no comparison 
with those formerly often accompanying negro 
slavery in our own colonies." 

A rather unpleasant incident, which threatened 
at one time to have very serious consequences, 
arose out of the edict for the manumission of 
slaves. Soon after the arrangements had been 
put in force the inhabitants of the sub-district 
of Lomboh, on the Perak river, a centre in 
close proximity to the scene of Mr. Birch's 
murder, declined to pay taxes, giving as one of 
their reasons the abolition of slavery. They 
refused to meet the Resident excepting by 
proceeding as an armed bod5' to Kuala Kangsa, 
and declared that if they were defeated they 
would disperse in small bands and harry the 

Everything was done by the British officials 
and the Malay chiefs to bring the malcontents 
to reason, but they stubbornly refused to listen, 
and when approached, beat the mosque drum 
as a call to the inhabitants to arms. In the 
circumstances Mr. Low, the Resident, had no 
alternative but to make a display of force, for, 
as Sir Frederick Weld, the Governor, remarked 
in his despatch to the Secretary of State on the 
subject, " to have yielded to threats would have 
destroyed all the good work we have done in 
civilising and pacifying the country." He there- 
fore ordered a force of 100 armed police and 
two guns to proceed down the river from 
Kuala Kangsa, and himself proceeded up the 
river from Teluk Anson with 40 men. The 
Lamboh people, seeing the Resident's deter- 
mined attitude and impressed by the proximity 
of his highly disciplined and effective force, 
made a complete submission. They now 
willingly paid their tax, and, expressing deep 
contrition, promised most humbly never to 
repeat the offence, but to petition in a quiet 
way if they had a grievance. Accepting their 
plea that they were " poor ignorant jungle 
people," Mr. Low withdrew his warrant for 
the arrest of the ringleaders, and so terminated 
happily an episode which might with less 
skilful handling have set the whole peninsula 
aflame once more. 

In 1884, on Sir Hugh Low's retirement from 
the Residency of Perak, Sir Cecil Smith, the 
officer administering the government of the 
Straits Settlements, reviewed the work done in 
the State since the introduction of British 
supervision. In 1876 the revenue of Perak 
amounted to 2 1.3,419 dollars, and the expendi- 
ture to 226,379 dollars. In 1883 the revenue 
had reached a total of i, 474,330 dollars, while 
the expenditure had grown to 1,350,610 dollars. 
During the period of Sir Hugh Low's adminis- 
tration debts to. the amount of 800,000 dollars 
incurred in connection with the disturbances 
had been paid off, and the State was at the 
period of the review entirely free from such 
liabilities. There was a cash balance at the 
close of the year of 254,949 dollars. As to 
trade, the value of the imports was calculated 
in 1876 at 831,375 dollars, and the exports at 
739,970 dollars. Similar returns for 1883 showed 
the imports to have been valued at 4,895,940 
dollars, and the exports 5,625,335 dollars. Put 
in sterling, the aggregate value of the trade 
was ;^r2, 000,000. 



Sir Hugh Low in his farewell report himself 
summarises the results of his administration 
in these graphic sentences : " When I first 
entered upon the duties of the position of 
adviser to the State there was only one steamer 
trading between Pinang and Larut, which was 
subsidised by the Government and made the 
voyage once in five or six days. There are now 
twelve steamers trading between Pinang and 
Perak, two or three of which arrive at and 
depart from Larut daily;, there are others 
plying to and fro between Pinang and Singa- 
pore, calling at the intervening ports, so that, 
as is also shown by the returns, the trade has 
undergone a large development. The country 
has been opened up by excellent roads in the 
most important positions, and by a very exten- 
sive system of bridle paths in places of less 
consequence. Progress has been made in 
rendering rivers more navigable. A military 
police, consisting of infantry, artillery, and 
cavalry, second to none in the East, has been 

which has a most abundant supply of excellent 
water conveyed to it in three miles of 8-inch 
pipes, is lighted with kerosene lamps, and in 
process of being connected with a new port bj' 
a metre-gauge railway eight miles in length. 
Very excellent barracks, large hospitals, courts 
of justice, commodious residences for all ofticers 
except the Resident, and numerous police 
stations and public buildings have been erected 
at the chief stations ; a museum with a scientific 
staff and experimental gardens and farms 
established ; the nati\'c foreign Eastern popu- 
lation conciliated ; ancient animosities healed 
up, and all causes of disquietude removed. As 
compared with 1876, when3i2,872 dollarswere 
collected, the revenues of the State are now 
more than quadrupled, and the Treasury, 
rescued from insolvency, now contains a large 
balance available for further development of 
the resources of the Stale." 

Sir Frederick Weld, who was Governor of 
the Straits Settlements from 1879 to 1887, took 

made. It was his practice during his term of 
office to be continually on the move through 
the States, seeing for himself the needs of the 
territory and keeping constantly in touch with 

(From a photograph taken during Sir Hugh Low's term of office as Resident of Perak.) 

recruited, disciplined, and most fully equipped, 
and also supplies a most efficient fire brigade 
for the town of Taiping. Two considerable 
and prosperous towns have been built, one of 

a deep interest in the development of the 
Malay States, and to his energetic initiative 
and persistent advocacy was due in large 
measure the steady uninterrupted progress 


local opinion. He not only informed himself, 
but he took good care to keep the authorities 
at home thoroughly posted on all matters of 
importance. Bright little descriptions of his 
journeyings were sent to the Colonial Office, and 
the staid officials there, amid details of official 
receptions, read gossipy accounts of camp in- 
cidents or adventures with wild beasts. .\ few 
excerpts from these despatches may be appro- 
priately introduced, as they give a sketch of the 
early administration of the States which is 
both lively and informing. Writing of a tour 
made in March, 1883, Sir Frederick Weld 
furnishes an interesting description of Kuala 
Lumpor. " The improvement in the town," 
he says, " was marked. The main road has 
been improved ; neat, inexpensive police 
stations and good bridges have replaced de- 
cayed old ones, whilst several new buildings 
are in progress." A visit paid subsequently to 
Larut and Lower Perak was productive of an 
equally favourable impression. " At Teluk 
.inson, the headquarters of the last named 
district, I found great changes in progress. 
Many good buildings have been erected and 
the streets are well laid out. The canal, which 
saves eight miles of river navigation, is likely 
to be a success, and is nearly finished. The 
hospital is commodious and in good order." 

Later in the year Sir Frederick Weld was 
again in Selangor, and he makes these refer- 
ences to his visit : " At Kanching, about 15 
miles north of Kuala Lumpor, we passed 
through and by a considerable forest of 
camphor trees, many of them 200 feet high. 
This tract occupied by camphor trees is the 
largest of the kind known in the peninsula, 
and the only one on the western side of the 
range. The Malays fear to cut the trees, as 
they say the smell gives them fever. Mr. 
Gower, who is putting up tin-mining machinery 
in the neighbourhood, got seven Japanese to 
attempt cutting a tree, and they all actually did 
get fever. This is very remarkable, as camphor 
is usually considered to be a febrifuge. This 
forest must become of enormous value, and I 



have directed that it be reserved to the State 
and preserved. 

" In the inhabited districts all the villages 
were decorated, always tastefully and some- 
times very beautifully. I was welcomed with 
dancing and singing ; they emulated their 
ancient legends of the programme of the pass- 
age of certain great Rajas in ancient times, and 
there is little doubt but that I had at least the 
advantage in the heartiness of the welcome. 
Even the wild Sakais and Semangs, the 
aborigines, came down from the mountains, 
bringing with them their women and children 
to meet me. They one and all assured me 
that under our rule the Malays have ceased to 
molest them, and one said that if they did 
he should go straight off to find a European 
magistrate and the police. They themselves 
are a most harmless, kindly, and good-tempered 


Continued Progress — Federation — Magni- 
ficent Results of British Interven- 
tion — Conclusion. 

What Sir Hugh Low accomplished in Perak 
was done in a minor degree in the other States. 
In the Nine States progress was for a time 
retarded by the mutual jealousies of the chiefs 
and the slumbering resentment of the popula- 
tion, who did not take too kindly to some of 
the changes wrought by British supervision. 
Owing largely to these causes the inevitable 
federation of the group of States was delayed. 
In 1876 six of the nine States united, agreeing 
to work together under the headship of Tunku 
Antar, who was given the title of Yam Tuan of 
Sri Menanti. The dissenting States, Sungei 
Ujong, Rembau, and Jelebu, after a few years' 
independent life, thought better of their 
refusal, and entered the federation, the formal 
act being registered in an agreement under 
which they acknowledged Tunku Muhammad, 
C.M.G., the successor of Tunku Antar, as their 
Raja, with the title of Yang-di-Pertuan of Negri 
Sambilan. In Selangor, first under Mr. David- 
son and later under Mr. Swettenham, rapid 
progress was made when once the country had 
settled down. The revenue grew from 193,476 
dollars in 1876 to 300,423 dollars in 1882. The 
next year there was a further advance to 
450,644 dollars. After the lapse of another five 
years the receipts had grown to the large 
figure of 1,417,998 dollars. Thus in twelve 
years the revenue of the State had increased 
sevenfold. The expenditure kept pace with 
the receipts, because at the outset there were 
heavy liabilities to be liquidated, and through- 
out the period there were demands ever grow- 
ing for public works absolutely essential for 
the development of the territory. The general 
situation of the States in these early years is 
illustrated by these figures showing the total 
receipts and expenditure of Perak, Selangor, 
and Sungei Ujong at particular periods from 
1876 to 1888 : 

Year. Revenue. Expenditure. 

1876 8560,997 »585,i89 

1880 881,910 794,944 

1884 2,148,155 2,138,710 

1888 3,657.673 3,013,943 

The revenue system adopted in the States 
under British supervision differed materially 
from that of the British settlements. Its lead- 
ing features at the outset were an import duty 
on opium, spirits, and tobacco, a farm of the 
sole right to open gambling houses, various 
licence fees, quit rents, &c., an export duty of 
10 per cent, ad valorem on all jungle produce 
and salt fish, and an export duty on tin. The 
last-named import was the backbone of the 
system. To it is mainly due the remarkable 
development of the States. Without the steady 
and increasing flow to the exchequer of the tin 
receipts, the magnificent public works which 
are the most conspicuous feature of the fede- 
rated area would have been luxuries beyond 
the attainment of the administration. Refer- 
ences to these works are made elsewhere in 
this volume, and it is only necessary to touch 
lightly upon the subject here. The earliest 
works undertaken were almost exclusively con- 
cerned with the improvement of communica- 
tions. As was stated at the beginning of this 
hibtorical sketch, when the British first inte- 
rested themselves in the concerns of the Malay 
States they found a practically roadless 
country. About the mines in Larut a few 
miles of ill-kept track, dignified by the name of 
road, served for purposes of transporting the 
tin to the coast, but this was an isolated 
example of enterprise. Communications, such 
as they were, were carried on for the most 
part by the numerous rivers and waterways in 
which the coast abounds. The British Resi- 
dents quickly realised that if the States were 
to prosper there must be a good system of 
internal and ultimately of inter-State communi- 
cation established. The efforts were directed 
to two ends — the improvement of the water- 
ways by the clearing of channels, and the 
construction of roads. The former was a com- 
paratively easy task, as in many cases all that 
was required was the expenditure of moderate 
sums on labour with the object of removing 
vegetation, which had accumulated to such an 
extent as to render the streams useless for 
navigation. The roads, on the other hand, had 
to be driven for the most part through virgin 
forest land, and the work was a troublesome 
and costly business. The Resident of Selangor 
in 1882-83, in order to meet the demand for 
increased means of communication without 
putting too heavy a strain upon the public 
resources, hit upon the expedient of making 
the initial roadway a bridle-path 6 feet wide 
without metalling and with very simple and 
cheap bridges. Traffic arteries of this type 
were constructed at the low cost of ;^i5o a 
mile, and they served all reasonable needs 
until the period when the growth of the State 
revenue justified the heavier expenditure in- 
volved in the provision of a macadamised road 
with permanent bridges. This plan was finally 
adopted in all the States with markedly 
successful results. The bridle-paths attracted 
settlers to the districts through which they 
passed, and soon a thriving population was to 
be found in districts which previously had 
been an uninhabited waste. When the popula- 
tion was large enough to justify the expendi- 
ture, and fvmds permitted, the permanent road 
was provided. In this way, bit by bit, was 
created a network of splendid roads, the like 

of which is not to be found anywhere in Asia, 
excepting perhaps in India. Side by side with 
road construction the Government prosecuted 
measures for the settlement of the country. 
" Efforts," says Sir Frank Swettenham in his 
work, " were made to encourage the building 
of villages all over the country, and round the 
headquarters of every district settlers congre- 
gated, small towns were laid out, shops and 
markets were built, and everything was done 
to induce the people to believe in the perman- 
ence of the new institutions. The visitor who 
now travels by train through a succession of 
populous towns, or who lands at or leaves busy 
ports on the coast, can hardly realise the 
infinite trouble taken in the first fifteen years 
to coax Malays and Chinese and Indians to 
settle in the country, to build a better class of 
house than the flimsy shanties or adobe struc- 
ture hitherto regarded as the height of all 
reasonable ambition. As the villages grew and 
the roads joined up the various mining fields 
and scattered hamlets, village councils, styled 
Sanitary Boards, were instituted to regulate the 
markets, sanitation, slaughter houses, laundries, 
water supply, and the hundred and one 
improvements of rapidly growing centres of 
population. Every nationality is represented 
on these boards, and the members take an 
intelligent interest in municipal administration." 

The construction of railways was an inevitable 
accompaniment of the commercial development 
of the States. The pioneer scheme was a line 
eight miles long between Taiping, the chief 
mining town in Larut, and Port Weld, on a 
deep-water inlet of the Larut river. Another 
and more ambitious scheme undertaken some 
little time before the line was opened for traffic 
in 1884 was a railway between Kuala Lumpor 
and Klang in Selangor, a distance of 22 miles. 
Funds for this work were lent by the Straits 
Settlements Government, but the loan was re- 
called long before the work was completed, and 
the State authorities had to get on as best they 
could without external aid. Fortunately the 
revenue at the time was in a highly satisfactory 
condition, and no great difficulty was experi- 
enced in financing the venture out of current 
income. The line was an immediate success. 
In the first few months of working it achieved 
the remarkable result of earning a revenue 
which yielded a profit equal to 25 per cent, on 
the amount expended. From these compara- 
tively small beginnings grew the great railway 
system which already has linked up the western 
districts of the peninsula, and which is destined 
probably in the not remote future to be the 
important final section of a great continental 
system of railways. 

On the purely administrative side the work 
of supervision was not less effective than in the 
practical directions we have indicated. A 
judicial system was built up on lines suited 
to the needs of the population, educational 
machinery was started with special provision 
for the principal racial sections of which the 
inhabitants were composed, a land settlement 
system was devised, hospitals and dispensaries 
were started, and a magnificent police force — 
partly Indian, partly Malay — was created. In 
fine, the States were gradually equipped with 
all the essential institutions of a progressive 
comraunitj'. The story of liow these various 



departments of the Federated Malay States 
Government grew may be left to be told by 
other writers. It is sufficient here to say that, 
with trivial exceptions, the work has been 
marked by a measure of successful achieve- 
ment which is worthy of the most brilliant 
examples of British administration. 

In 1888 the British responsibiHties in the 
peninsula were increased by the addition of 
Pahang to the list of protected States. This 
State stood suspiciously apart when the other 
States were brought into the sphere of British 
influence, and it resolutely repelled all over- 

authorities at Singapore, who saw in it only 
another indication of the perverse indepen- 
dence of the chief. They had, liowever, only 
to wait for an opportunity for intervention. It 
came one day when a more than usually brutal 
outrage was perpetrated upon a British subject 
with the connivance of the ruler. Satisfaction 
was demanded by Sir Clementi Smith, the then 
Governor of the Straits, and was refused. The 
position was becoming critical when the chief, 
acting mainly on the advice of the Maharaja of 
Johore, expressed regret for what had occurred 
and asked for the appointment of a British 

the adjoining Stales, there to be either killed or 
captured by the Siamese. Pahang has never 
had reason to regret the decision taken by its 
chief to join the circle of protected States. In 
the seventeeji years ending 1906 which followed 
the introduction of the Residential system, its 
revenue increased tenfold and its trade expanded 
from an insigniiicant total to one approximating 
five million dollars in value. 

The remarlcable progress made by the pro- 
tected States and the consequent widening of 
the administrative sphere brought into promi- 
nence the necessity of federation in order to 


The figure in the centre is Sir F. Weld ; seated on his left are Sir Hugh Low and the Sultan of Perak. 

tures. On one occasion the Straits Government 
had to bring the chief to reason by a bombard- 
ment of his capital. After that there was little 
or no intercourse, until one day a British war 
vessel dropped into harbour to see what was 
doing in that part of the world. The captain 
landed to pay his respects, and on being ushered 
into the presence of the chief, found him seated 
on a pile of cannon balls which had been fired 
from the British warships on the occasion of 
the bombardment. The humour of the situa- 
tion appealed to the British representative, but 
the incident was not so much relished by the 

Resident. The amende was accepted, and Mr. 
(now Sir) J. P. Rodger was appointed Resident, 
with ;Mr. Hugh Clifford as Assistant. The new 
order was not accepted peacefully by an im- 
portant section, represented by a group of petty 
chiefs. These resented the British intrusion 
and all that it implied in ordered administration 
and restraints on oppression, and they took up 
arms. A long and expensive campaign was 
involved in the suppression of this rising ; but 
eventually, thanks largely to Mr. Hugh Clifford's 
exertions, the revolting element was ■ either 
hunted down or driven across the border into 

deal more effectually with questions of common 
interest which were continually arising. In 
1893 Sir Frank Swettenham, who since the 
conclusion of the military operations in Perak 
had filled the post of Secretary for Malay Affairs 
to the Straits Settlement Government, drew up 
a scheme for the federation of the four States, 
and this in due course was forwarded to the 
Colonial Secretary. \Mien Sir Charles Mitchell 
was appointed to the government of the Straits 
Settlements in succession to Sir Clementi Smith, 
in i8g6, he carried with him instructions to 
report upon the desirability and feasibility of 



the project. Sir Charles Mitchell, after mature 
consideration of the question, forwarded a re- 
commendation in favour of the scheme, subject, 
however, to its receiving the approval of the 
ruling chiefs. Mr. Chamberlain in his turn 
gave conditional sanction to the federation idea 


on these lines, and Sir Frank Swettenham was 
entrusted with the duty of securing the adhesion 
of the Residents and chiefs to his plans. His 
mission was entirely successful. The Resi- 
dents welcomed the scheme, though it made a 
striking change in the system of government 
by putting over them a Resident-General, who 
was given executive control under the direction 
of "the High Comm'ssioner for the Federated 
Malay States," otherwise the Governor of the 
Straits Settlements. The chiefs also gave the 
project their cordial approval. They were in- 
fluenced in its favour. Sir Frank Swettenham 
says, because it did not touch their own status 
in any way, and because they believed that as 
a federation they would be stronger and more 
important, and that their views would be 
more likely to receive consideration should a 
day come when they found themselves at 
variance with the supreme authority, be it 
High Commissioner at Singapore or Secretary 
of State in England. A further consideration 
was the financial advantage which would 
accrue from the change. " Two of the States, 
Perak and Selangor, were then very rich ; 
Negri Sambilan had a small debt, but was 
financially sound ; while Pahang was very 
poor, owed a large sum to the colony, and, 
though believed to be rich in minerals, had no 
resources to develop the country. By federa- 
tion the rich States were to help the poor ones ; 
so Pahang and Negri Sambilan hoped to gain 
by the arrangement, while the rulers of Perak 
and Selangor were large-minded enough to 
welcome the opportunity of pushing on the 
backward Stales for the glory and ultimate 
benefit of the federation. Further, they wel- 
comed federation because it meant consistency 
and continuity of policy. It meant the abolition 
of inter-State frictions and jealousies, and the 

power to conceive and execute great projects 
for the benefit of the partnership without refer- 
ence to the special interests of any partner. 
Above all, they not only accepted but desired 
federation, because they believed that it would 
give them, in the Resident-General, a powerful 
advocate of their needs and their views, a friend 
whose voice would be heard further and carry 
more weight than that of any Resident, or of all 
the Residents acting independently." 

The new system was formally introduced 
on July I, i8g6, with Sir Frank Swettenham as 
the first Resident-General. Kuala Lumpor 
was selected as the headquarters of the federal 
departments, and here gradually grew up a 
series of fine public buildings in keeping with 
the importance of the federated area. Now, 
with an important trunk railway running 
through it, a network of roads radiating from 
it to all important points, and a considerable 
residential population, it vies in dignity and size 
with the chief towns of many Crown colonies. 
In matters of government the fruits of the 
federation were quickly seen in various direc- 
tions. A Judicial Commissioner (Mr. Lawrence 
Jackson, Q.C.) was appointed to try capital 
charges and hear appeals from the magisterial 
courts. Simultaneously there was a reorganisa- 
tion of the magisterial system, and counsel for 
the first time were admitted to plead in the 
Malay State Courts. At a later period the 
judicial bench was strengthened by the addition 
of two Assistant Commissioners, and a Public 
Prosecutor was appointed to facilitate criminal 
procedure. Other changes were the appoint- 
ment of a Financial Commissioner, and the 
reorganisation of the whole financial system, 
the amalgamation of the police forces and 
the Public Works Departments of the several 
States, and the institution of a Railway Depart- 
ment, with a General-Manager as head of the 
entire system. Further, a regiment known as 
the Malay States Guides was constituted for 
purposes of defence. This is a splendid 
force, 900 strong, recruited from the war- 
like Indian races and officered by officers 
seconded from the British Army. Finally, an 
elaborate trigonometrical survey has been set 
on foot on a uniform system, a department for 
the conservation of forests has been created, 
Geological and Agricultural Departments estab- 
lished, and an institute for medical research 
under the direction of a highly-trained patho- 
logist provided. 

This was the practical outcome of federa- 
tion as it affected the administration. In less 
tangible ways it has worked a great change in 
the States. One of its most notable influences 
has been the tightening of the bonds of sym- 
pathy between the various parts of the federated 
area and the creation of a sentiment of pride 
in the prosperity and greatness of the common 
country. This phase of federation was brought 
out very strongly in July, 1897, when a Con- 
ference of Malay rulers, members of State 
Councils and chiefs was held at Kuala Kangsa, 
the seat of the Sultan of Perak, to celebrate the 
introduction of the new system. Every chief 
of importance was present, and the proceedings 
were marked by absolute harmony and even 
enthusiasm. Sir Frank Swettenham, in his 
official report, summed up the results of the Con- 
ference in the following interesting fashion ; 

" From every point of view the meeting has 
been an unqualified success, and it is difficult to 
estimate now the present and prospective value 
of this unprecedented gathering of Malay 
Sultans, Rajas, and chiefs. Never in the history 
of Malaya has any siich assemblage been 
even imagined. I doubt whether anybody has 
ever heard of one ruler of a State making a 
ceremonial visit to another ; but to have been 
able to collect together in one place the 
Sultans of Perak, Selangor, Pihang, and the 
Negri Sambilan is a feat that might well have 
been regarded as impossible. People who do 
not understand the Malay cannot appreciate the 
difficulties of such a task ; and I confess that 
I myself never believed that we should be able 
to accomplish it. It was hardly to be expected 
that a man of the great age of the Sultan of 
Selangor could be induced to make, for him, so 
long and difficult a journey, and to those who 
know the pride, the prejudices, and the sensi- 
tiveness of Malay Rajas, it was very unlikely 
that the Sultan of Pahang would join an 
assemblage where he could not himself dictate 
the exact part which he would play in it. It is 
not so many years since the Governor of the 
Straits Settlements found the utmost difficulty 
in getting speech with Malay Rajas in the 
States which are now federated ; Sir Frederick 
Weld, even though accompanied by the present 
Sultan of Perak, by Sir Hugh Low, and the 
present Residents of Selangor and Pahang, all 
officers accustomed to deal with Malays, had to 
wait several hours on the bank of the Pahang 
river before any one could persuade the Sultan 
of Pahang to leave a game of chance in which 
he was engaged with a Chinese in order to 
grant an interview to his Excellency. It is 
difficult to imagine a greater difference than 
between then and now, and, though the Sultan 
of Perak has been far more nearly associated 
with British officers than any other of the 
Sultans, he has always been extremely jealous 
of his rights as a ruler. I was, therefore, sur- 


prised to hear the frank way in which, at the 
Council, he spoke of British protection, which 
he did not hesitate to describe as control. 

"The deliberations of the Council were both 
interesting and useful, and there is no doubt 
that, in some respects, we could not have 



arrived at the same ends by any otlier means 
than the meeting of the Rajas of the Federated 
States and their responsible advisers. All the 
proceedings of the Council were conducted in 
the Malay language, and I am convinced that, if 
ever it were necessary to introduce interpreta- 
tion, no such successful meetings as those just 
concluded could ever be held. The Sultans 
and all their chiefs spoke on all the subjects 
which interested them, without either hesita- 
tion or difficulty, and on matters concerning the 
Mahammadan religion, Malay customs, and 
questions which specially touch the well-being 
of Malays, it would be impossible to find else- 
where such knowledge and experience as is 
possessed by those present at the recent 
meetings. Nothing can be decided at the 
Council, which is only one of advice, for no 
Raja has any voice in the affairs of any State 
but his own. This was carefully explained 
and is thoroughly understood. But it is of 

and depicting the gradual change in the 
feelings of the people, an attitude of distrust 
and suspicion of British officials giving place 
to one of confidence and regard. In these 
Conferences we have the crowning triumph 
and vindication of British intervention. They 
may be regarded as the coping-stone of the 
edifice of administrative efficiency and pro- 
gress reared on the blood-stained ashes of the 
old anarchical regime which once made the 
name Malaya a byword for ruthless bar- 
barism and the cruellest despotism. 

Figures are usually dull things, but only 
figures can properly bring home to the under- 
standing the immensity of the change which 
has been worked in the peninsula imder British 
direction. We make no excuse, therefore, for 
introducing the following official table, which 
illustrates the position of the Federated States 
from the year i88g, when Pahang came under 
British protection. 

perusal of the table. If they study it with even 
a moderate disposition to be fair, they will 
arise from the exercise with minds attuned to 
a new view of the capacity of their fellow- 
countrymen who are bearing the white man's 
burden in distant regions, and of the material 
advantages which accrue from the wise ex- 
tension of British influence. And the glory of 
the success is that it has been won, not by the 
sword, but by peaceful methods directed with 
the aid and co-operation of the most influential 
elements of the native community. The power 
has been there, but it has been sparingly used. 
Moral suasion is the force which has worked 
the transformation from a territory weltering 
in the most ferocious form of internecine war, 
with trade paralysed and agriculture neglected, 
to a land of plenty, with mineral and agricul- 
tural wealth developed to the highest extent, 
and with a twenty-fold larger population living 
a contented and law-abiding existence. In 


Special General Return. 









Duty on 


and Tele- 

Negri - 























































1. 573.441 




















537.1 1 1 
















































































1. 294.139 




















































— 1 1900 
















































1903 1 
































1905 1 

















Note. — Tlie total Revenue and the total Expenditure of Perak. Selangor, and Negri Samb'ilan in 1875 were respectively $409,394 and §436,872. 
appear in i88g. Federation dates from Julj' i, 1896. 

Revenue. Expenditure. 

Figures for Pahang iirst 

» Perak 
Negri Sambilan 

$r4, 282.484 


2 487,090 




■f- A census of the population was taken in 1891 and in 1901. The population of Perak in 1879 was estimated at 8i,o8:|, and in 1889 at 194,801 ; that of Selangor in 1884 
at 46,568 and in 1887 at 97,ic6. No figures for the other States are given prior to 1891. 
X Estimated for 1903, 1904, and 1905. 

great value to get together the best native 
opinions and to hear those qualified to do so 
thoroughly discuss, from varying points of 
view, questions which are similar in all the 
Federated States. On several important 
subjects the members of the Council expressed 
unanimous views, and it now only remains to 
take action in the various State Councils to 
secure identical measures embodying the 
opinions expressed." 

There was a second Conference on similar 
lines at Kuala Lumpor in July, 1903. It was 
equally as successful as the initial gathering. 
One striking feature of the proceedings was a 
notable speech by the Sultan of Perak, dwelling 
upon the enormous advantages which had 
accrued to the States from British intervention. 

If there is romance in statistics it is surely to 
be found in this wonderful table. Where in 
the history of modern government can the 
progress revealed by it be paralleled ? In 
India, British government has worked mar- 
vellous changes ; in Ceylon a splendid suc- 
cess has been achieved ; even in the Straits 
Settlements themselves we have an example of 
the genius of the race for the government of 
alien communities. But we may ransack the 
Imperial records in vain for an instance in 
which in so short an interval a great possession 
has been built up. Those pessimists who 
bewail the national degeneracy, equally with 
the section of political extremists who are for 
ever decrying the achievements of the British 
Colonial official, may be commended to a 

this fact lies the highest justification of the ex- 
periment reluctantly and timidly entered upon 
less than forty years ago. In it is to be 
found the most splendid testimony to the 
ability of the British administrators who have 
been concerned in this most striking example 
of Empire-building. 


The Peninsular States. 

Perak. — The history of Perak inay be divided 
into four periods. Of the first period (during 
which the seat of government was at Bruas, in 



the Bindings) we know next to notliing. A 
few carved tombstones represent all that is left 
uf this very ancient capital — and even these 
are of late Achinese make and throw no light 
whatever on the early history of the country. 
It Malay tradition is right in saying that the 
great arm of the sea at the Bindings was once 
an outlet of the Perak river, we can easily 
understand the importance of Bruas, combining 
as it did the advantages of a perfect landlocked 
harbour with a commanding situation at the 
mouth of the greatest waterway in the western 
half of the peninsula. Although Bruas was 
powerful — the " Malay Annals " tell us — before 
even the mythical ancestors of the Malacca 
dynasty appeared on the famous hill of Sigun- 
tang, it had begun to decline as the river silted 
up. In the days of Sultan Mahmud (a.d. 1500) 
Bruas had so far fallen that its King did homage 
to Malacca in mere gratitude for assistance 
against a petty rival village. After the Achi- 
nese invasion the place entirely disappears 
from history. 
The second period of Perak history stretches 

Kings, down to the extinction of his direct 
male line in the wars with Achin. This period 
covers a century — from 1530 to 1630 A.D. — and 
is marked by the reigns of nine Sultans : 

younger brother, Alaedin Riayat Shah II. It 
goes on to tell us that this disinherited Prince, 
after having first settled in Selangor, was 
invited to fill the throne of Perak, and that he 

(First Sultan) 

Mansur Shah I. 
(Second Sultan) 

Mansur Shah 
(Sultan of Achin) 

Tajuddin Shah 
(Third Sultan) 

Raja Kechil 


Taj-ul-arifin Shah 
(Fourth Sultan) 

A daughter 

Alaedin Shah 
(Fifth Sultan) 

Mansur Shah II. 
(Seventh Sultan) 

A daughter 
(m. the tenth Sultan) 

Mukadam Shah 
(Sixth Sultan) 

Mahmud Shah I. 
(Eighth Sultan) 

Selaheddin Shah 
(Ninth Sultan) 

Perak tradition identifies its first Sultan, Mud- 
zafar Shah, with a sou of Sultan Mahmud I. 
(of Malacca), who was born about a.d. 1505, 


from the coming of Mudzafar Shah I., the 
reputed founder of the long line of Perak 

and was at one time heir to the throne of 
Johore, but was passed over in favour of his 

reached his new kingdom after various adven- 
tures, such as the slaughter of the great serpent, 
Si-Katimuna, with the sword Chura Si- 
Mandong Kini. As will have been seen, the 
Perak tradition does not hesitate to borrow 
from the legend of Sang Sapurba. Mudzafar 
Shah was succeeded by his son, Mansur Shah. 
After the death of this latter Prince, his widow 
and children were taken prisoners by Achi- 
nese invaders and carried off to Kota Raja, 
where fortune favoured them in that the eldest 
son — another Mansur Shah — succeeded in 
marrying the Queen of Achin. 

After restoring his brothers to Perak, this 
.Achinese Mansur Shah perished in a revolu- 
tion in a.d. 1585. Early in the sixteenth 
century the great Iskandar Muda or Mahkota 
Alam, Sultan of Achin, subjugated Perak and 
led ruler after ruler to captivity and death, until 
the direct male line of Mudzafar Shah had 
completely died out and Perak had become a 
mere province of his empire. About the year 
1635 Mahkota Alam died, and his successor, 
Sultan Mughal, sent a certain Raja Sulong 
(who had married a Perak Princess) to 
govern Perak as a tributary Prince under 
the name of Sultan Mudzafar Shah II. This 
event begins the third period of Perak 

As regards the truth of this story, there seems 
very little doubt that there was a Raja Mudza- 
far who was disinherited by Sultan Mahmud 
Shah in the manner described by Perak 
tradition. It is also true that this Raja Mudza- 
far married Tun Trang and had a son Raja 
Mansur, as the Perak tradition tells us. It also 
seems true enough that the Achinese invaded 
and conquered Perak. The only evidence 
against the truth of this story is negative 
evidence. The " Malay Annals " are absolutely 
silent as to Raja Mudzafar having gone to 
Perak, though Ihey give an account of the 
second Mudzafar Shah, who was unquestion- 
ably Sultan of Perak and who may possibly 
have been confused with the first. 

The third period of Perak history begins 
with the accession of Mudzafar Shah II. 
(a.d. 1635) and goes down to the death 
of Mudzafar Shah III. (a.d. 1765). The 
Sultans with whom tradition fills up this 
period of 130 years are given in the following 
table : 



(Tenth Sultan) 

Muhammad Iskandar Shah 
(Eleventh Sultan) 


Alaedin Riayat Shah 
(Twelfth Sultan) 

Mudzafar Shah III. 
(Thirteenth Sultan) 

Muhammad Shah 
(Fourteenth Sultan) 

It should be added that the eleventh Sultan is 
said to have reigned for iii years, and that the 
next three Sultans were his nephews bj' birth 
and his sons by adoption. 

This period presents great difficulties. Raja 
Sulong, who married a Perak Princess and was 
sent by the King of Achin to rule over Perak, 
is a real figure in history. His mother was 
a daughter or niece of the author of the "Malay 
Annals." But (if we are to believe the " Malay 
Annals") this Mudzafar Shah II. was succeeded 
by Raja Mansur "who is reigning now." The 
Perak account itself speaks of the twelfth, 
thirteenth, and fourteenth Sultans as grandsons 
of a certain Mansur Shah, who is not given in 
the pedigree. The Perak account also states 
that the Bugis chiefs, Klana Jaya Putra and 
Daeng Chelak, invaded Perak in the days of 
Alaedin Riayat Shah. As the Klana died in 
A.D. 1628, the Ill-year reign seems to need 
some modification. Again, the Bugis Raja 
Lumu is said to have been cheated Sultan of 
Selangor by Sultan Mahmud Shah of Perak in 
A.D. 1743 ; who is this Mahmud Shah ? 

Putting aside these questions of royal 
descent, we know that this period (a.d. 1655- 
1665) was one of extreme turbulence, and 
probably of civil war. In A.D. 1650 the Dutch 
opened a factory on the Perak river ; in a.d. 
165 1 the factory was destroyed and its inmates 
massacred. Hamilton, writing in a.d. 1727, 
speaks of Perak as "properly a part of the 
kingdom of Johor, but the people are untract- 
able and rebellious, and the government 
anarchical. Their religion is a sort of 
heterodox Muhammedanism. The country 
produces more tin than any in India, but the 
inhabitants are so treacherous, faithless, and 
bloody that no European nation can keep 
factories there with safety. The Dutch tried 
it once, and the first year had their factory cut 
off. They then settled on Pulau Dinding, 
but about the year 1690 that factory was also 
cut off. The ruins of the blockhouse on the 
island of Pangkor are still to be seen." In 
justice to the Malays, it should be added that 
the Dutch, in their anxiety to secure a trade 
monopoly, treated the selling of tin to any one 
but themselves as a serious offence, and even 
as a casus belli. It is not therefore surprising 
that disputes were frequent and sanguinary. 

The first half of the eighteenth century in 
Perak was marked by internal anarchy and 
foreign invasions. There were three Kings in 
the land — the Sultan of Bernam, the Sultan of 
Perak, and the Regent ; the chiefs were at war 
with each other, and the Bugis kept raiding 
the country. About A.D. 1757 things had so far 
settled down that the Dutch were able to 
establish a factory at Tanjong Putus on the 
Perak river. They subsequently sent a mission 
to Sultan Mudzafar Shah about a.d. 1764, and 
concluded a treaty with his successor, Muham- 
mad Shah, in a.d. 1765. 

The exact position of the next four Sultans in 
the Perak pedigree is a matter of doubt, but 
they seem to have been either brothers or 
cousins of one another, and to have belonged 
to the generation immediately following 
Mudzafar Shah III. and Muhammad Shah. 
From the eighteenth Sultan onwards the pedi- 
gree is officially stated to have been as follows : 

seems to have taken rather more of this 
revenue than the local chiefs would willingly 
have given him, Raja Jumaat, the principal 
Lukut chief, succeeded at Sultan Muhammad's 
death in diverting the succession from the 
Sultan's son to a weak nominee of his own, 
who belonged to another branch of the family. 
The new ruler, Sultan Abdul-Samad, did not 
interfere with the Lukut Princes, but he allowed 
himself to be infiuenced by a stronger will 
than his own, and ultimately surrendered all 
true power into the hands of his son-in-law, 
the Kedah Prince, Tengku Dzia-ud-din. He 
thereby exasperated many of his subjects, who 
did not like to see a foreigner become the real 
ruler of the country. 
Politically the State of Selangor has never 

Ahmadin Shah 
(Eighteenth Sultan) 


.\bdul Malik Mansur Shah 
(Nineteenth SuUan) 

Abdullah Muadzam 
(Twentieth Sultan) 



Raja Ahmad 

Raja Inu 

(Twenty-first Sultan) 

(Twenty-third Sultan) 



(Twenty-sixth. Sultan) 

Raja Alang 


Sultan Idris 

(now reigning) 

(Twenty-fourth Sultan) 

Raja Abdurrahman 

Abdullah Muhammad 
(Twenty-second Sultan) 

(Twenty-seventh Sultan) 

The special interest of this table lies in its 
illustration of the curious law of succession 
under which the three branches of the royal 
house take it in turn to provide the reigning 

Selangor. — The present reigning dynasty of 
Selangor traces its descent to Raja Lumu, son 
of Daeng Chelak, one of the Bugis chiefs who 
overthrew the old State of Johore in a.d. 1722, 
It should be added, however, that Raja Lumu 
appears to have become Raja of Selangor 
through his mother and not through his father. 
In any case, he was recognised as Sultan of 
Selangor in A.D. 1743. He maintained a close 
alliance with his Riau relatives and with the 
Bugis of Kuala Linggi. In a.d. 1756, and 
again in a.d. 1783, the combined Bugis forces 
attacked Malacca, but were repulsed with 
heavy loss. On the second occasion the Dutch 
followed up their success by attacking Kuala 
Selangor and ultimately forcing the Sultan to 
come to terms. 

There have been five Sultans of Selangor ■ 
Sultan Selaheddin, who founded the dynasty ; 
Sultan Ibrahim, who made the treaty with the 
Dutch in a.d. 1786 ; Sultan Muhammad, who 
reigned from a.d. 1826 to 1856 ; Sultan Abdul- 
Samad, who accepted British protection, and 
Sultan Sulaiman, the present ruler. The prin- 
cipal events in the history of this State during 
the last century were the development of 
Lukut as a mining centre and the civil wars 
between Raja Mahdi and Tengku Dzia-ud-din. 
The Lukut mining led to a great influx of 
Chinese immigrants, who paid a poll-tax to the 
Bugis chiefs for their protection, and who 
were kept in order by the splendid old fort 
on the hills near Port Dickson. As the Sultan 

been interesting. Piratical and anarchical, it 
never developed any organised system of 
government, nor did the authority of the Bugis 
chiefs ever extend very far beyond their own 
little settlements on the rivers or near the mines. 

Negri Sambilan. — About the middle of 
the seventeenth century, after the decline of 
Achin and before the coming of the Bugis 
pirates, a large number of Menangkabau 
Malays migrated in small detachments from 
Sumatra into the peninsula, where they founded 
the little confederacy of States now known as 
the Negri Sambilan. Extremely proud of their 
origin, for Menangkabau is the purest-blooded 
kingdom of Malaya, the descendants of these 
immigrants still speak of themselves as " we 
sons of Menangkabau, who live with the 
heavens above us and the earth beneath our 
feet, we who once dwelt on the slopes of the 
mighty volcanoes as far as the Great Pass, 
through which we came down to the plains 
of Sumatra in the isle of Andalas." The early 
settlers taught this formula to their children so 
that their history might never be forgotten. 
But they taught more. These sons of Me- 
nangkabau were passionately devoted to the 
old legal sayings, in which is embodied a most 
extraordinary old system of matriarchal law. 
Tliey are the most conservative people in 
Malaya. To their everlasting honour it should 
be added that they most loyally observed the 
covenants by which they first obtained posses- 
sion of their lands, and that to this day, 
although all real power has long since passed 
out of the hands of the aborigines, the proud 
"sons of Menangkabau" acknowledge as ruling 
chiefs in Rembau and Johol men who are 
avowedly the representatives of the humble 



Sakai race. The migrations seem to hiave been 
peaceful. Ttie first comers occupied tlie nearest 
lands in the district of Xaning ; the next 
arrivals settled in Rembau ; the latest settlers 
had to go further afield — to Sri Menanti, to 
Inas, to Sungei Ujong, and to Jelebu. In the 
development of their peculiar systems of con- 
stitutional law and statecraft, treaties or con- 
ventions (mitafakat) probably played a great 
part. In Naning succession to the chieftaincy 
went by descent in the female line ; a Dato' Sri 
Maharaja was succeeded by his eldest sister's 
son. This little State has been absorbed into 
the settlement of Malacca, but the representa- 
tives of the old rulers still receive a great deal 
of popular respect and were even given a small 
allowance of about £:ip a year by the British 
Government up to a few years ago, when the 
allowance was withdrawn because the then 
" Dato' of Naning " omitted to call on Sir 
William Maxwell when that officer was passing 
through the district. 

Next in antiquity to Naning comes Kembau. 
Tradition has it that the first settlers in Rembau 
were headed by two chiefs, Dato' Laut Dalam 
and Dato' Lela Blang. These men, though 
they settled in different localities, made an 
alliance and arranged that their descendants 
(in the female line) should take it in turn to be 
rulers of the country. With the craving for 
high-sounding names that is so striking a 
feature of Malay character, these two chiefs 
sought and obtained from the then Sultan of 
Johore the titles that their descendants still bear. 
The present ruler is the thirteenth Dato' of 
Rembau and the seventh " Dato' Sedia Raja," 
the other six being " Dato' Lela Maharaja." 

The founders of the State of Rembau were 
followed to the Negri Sambilan by many other 
headmen of small immigrant parties, until at 
last a whole aristocracy of petty dignitaries 
was established in the country. Far from 
their homes in Sumatra and surrounded by 
possible foes, the early settlers had looked to 
Johore for protection and recognition ; but the 
last comers, finding themselves strong and 
Johore weak, began to seek for a Prince of their 
own from the royal line of Menangkabau. In 
their own words : 
"The villager owes obedience to the village 

The village elders to the district chief, 
The district chief to the provincial chief. 
The provincial chief to the ruler of the State." 
This ruler of the State was the Yamtuan Besar 
of Sri Menanti. He occupied a position of 
great dignity, but of very little real authority 
over great provincial chiefs like the Dato' of 
Rembau ; but of late years he has had his 
office strengthened bj' British support. The 
principal provincial chiefs are : 
The Dato' Klana of Sungei Ujong, 
The Dato' Akhirzaman of Jelebu, 
The Dato' Johan Pahlawan of Johol, 
The Dato' of Rembau, 
The Dato' Bandar of Sungei Ujong, 
The Ruler of Tampin, and 
The Dato' Muda of Linggi. 

Pahang. — The early history of the State of 
Pahang — as usually given — is brief and in- 
accurate. Even so authoritative a work as the 
present edition of the official " Handbook of 
the Federated Malay States " sums it up in two 
statements, both of which are incorrect. It 
says : " The first ruler of Pahang of whom 
there is any record was a son of the Sultan 
Mahmud, who fled to Pahang from Malacca 
after the capture of that town by the Portuguese 
in A.D. 1511. A reputed descendant of his was 
Bendahara All, who died in the year 1850 or 

We know from Portuguese as well as Malay 
sources that when Albuquerque arrived at 
Malacca he found the city engaged in festivities 
over the marriage of Sultan Mahmud's daughter 
to a Sultan of Pahang. The statement in the 
"Handbook "is, therefore, singularly unfortun- 
ate, since "a son of Sultan Mahmud" is obviously 
the only thing that the Sultan could not have 
been. There is, however, no mystery about 
the origin of the old line of Sultans of Pahang. 
The country was conquered by Mansur Shah 
or Mudzafar Shah, and was first created a 
separate sultanate by the former ruler, who 
bestowed it upon his eldest son. This family 
continued to reign over Pahang till 1699, when 
Mahmud Shah 11., the latest Prince of the line, 
was murdered by his Bendahara. Mahmud 
Shah II, was succeeded as Sultan of Johore and 
Pahang by this Bendahara, who took the title 
of Abdul Jalil Riayat Shah. As after the Bugis 
conquest of Linggi the Sultans were practi- 
callv hostages and had to reside at Riau, they 
deputed their principal ministers to gOvCrn in 
their name, the Bendahara in Pahang and the 
Temenggong in Johore. These ministers con- 
tinued, however, to visit Riau from time to 
time, and to take part in the decision of im- 
portant matters, such as questions of succession 
to the throne. At the death of Sultan Mahmud 
Riayat Shah (a.d. 1812), the Bendahara came 
up from Pahang and seems to have accepted 
Sultan Abdurrahman as his suzerain, though 
he must have personally favoured the other 
candidate, Tengku Husain, who was his own 
son-in-law. When the Riau family divided 
into the Singapore branch under British pro- 
tection and the Linggi branch under Dutch 
control, the Bendaharas of Pahang acknow- 
ledged the Linggi rulers, while the Temeng- 
gongs of Johore threw in their lot with the 
English. In time, however, both of these 
great feudatories began to pay less attention 
to their titular suzerains and to assume the 
position of independent Princes, until at last 
the British Government recognised the real 
position by converting the Bendahara into a 
Sultan of Pahang and the Temenggong into a 
Sultan of Johore. 

Malay history is a record of great vicissitudes 
of fortune. Time after time the connecting 
link between one period and another is a 
mere band of fugitives, a few score refugees. 
Such was the case in 151 1, in 1526, in 1615, 
in 1673, and in 1721. It should not, there- 

fore, be imagined that the new States that 
were built up after each successive disaster 
were made up entirely — or even largely- -of 
men of true Malay blood. The bond connect- 
ing the peninsular States is imity of language 
and religion more than unity of blood. The 
Northern Malay is physically unlike the Southern 
Malay ; the one has been compared to a cart- 
horse and the other to a Batak pony. The 
Malay population of Perak, Pahang and the 
Negri Sambilan must be largely Sakai, that of 
Selangor is Sakai or Bugis — where it is not 
made up of recent immigrants. Moreover, the 
Malays have accepted many of the traditions 
and beliefs of the people who preceded them 
in the possession of the land ; they still worship 
at the hol\- places of the people of the country 
and believe in the same spirits of disease. Any 
one who is a Mahomedan and speaks the Malay 
tongue is accepted as a Malay, whatever his 
ancestry ; there is no real unity about Malay 
tradition. Still, there are three systems of 
government that are essentially Malayan. The 
first is what one may call " river " government. 
The State was a river valley ; the Sultan hved 
near the mouth and levied toll on all the 
produce that travelled up and down the great 
highway of communication. Such a State 
could be controlled with comparative ease, 
since the great feudal chiefs who governed 
the reaches and the tributaries of the main 
stream were dependent for their imports and 
exports on the goodwill of the King. Pahang, 
Trengganu, Kelantan and Perak all furnished 
good examples of this type of feudal govern- 
ment. The second type of Malay kingdom 
was the predatory State— a Malay Sultan with 
a sort of military aristocracy living on the 
foreign settlers in his own country or terroris- 
ing smaller Malay communities into paying 
blackmail or tribute. Malacca, Johore Lama, 
Achin, Riau and Pasai were instances of this 
type of predatory rule ; the Larut and Lukut 
settlements in the nineteenth century show how 
it could be applied to comparatively modern 
conditions. The third type is represented by 
the matriarchal communities of Menangkabau 
or Negri Sambilan. Self-sufficing, independent 
of trade, and rather averse to war, a Negri 
Sambilan village might be established at some 
distance from any navigable river, and was 
not usually amenable to the control of central 
authorities. It led to the evolution of a most 
interesting and successful type of government 
that one might almost call constitutional. 
But annalists do not, as a rule, take much 
interest in the humble politics of village com- 
munities, nor do they care much about the civil 
wars of river States. It is always the lawless 
predatory government that makes most noise 
in the world. The great names of Malay 
history are those of men like Mansur Shah of 
Malacca and Mahkota Alam of Achin. None 
the less, the best political work of the Malay 
race was done in the little villages that have 
no history — the matriarchal communities in 
the highlands of Sumatra and in the valleys 
of the Ne.ari Sambilan. 



SSOCIATED in an ad- 
ministrative sense with 
tlie Straits Settlements, 
tiiougli geograpliically 
somewhat remote {rom 
the chief centres of 
authority in British 
iMalaya, are a number 
of islands in the Indian 
Ocean, which, though of small area, present 
many points of interest. These outposts of 
the Straits Settlements are Christmas Island, 
an isolated islet off the coast of Java, and a 
group of coral atolls known as the Cocos-Keel- 
ing Islands, a considerable distance to the 
south, about midway between Java and Aus- 
tralia. Held under leases from the Govern- 
ment, these islands are centres of considerable 
commercial activity, and contribute in a modest 
way to the prosperity of the Straits Settlements 
as a whole. 

Christmas Island came conspicuously before 
the public eye in the United Kingdom a few 
years ago as the result of a scientific expedition 
sent out, in igoo, to investigate the flora and 
fauna and geological characteristics of the 
place. IVTr. Charles \V. Andrews, B.A., B.Sc, 
F.G.S., of the British Museum, the chief mem- 
ber of the expedition, on his return prepared 
an elaborate monograph embodying the results 
of the investigations of the party, and this was 
officially published. The work, besides giving 
a mass of valuable scientific facts, supplies 
much information relating to the history of the 
island. From it may be extracted some details 
which are of general interest. The island lies 
in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean in 
S. latitude io° 25', E. long. 105° 42'. Java, the 
nearest land, is about igo miles to the north, 
while some 900 miles to the south-east is the 
coast of North-west Australia. A little to the 
south of west, at a distance of 550 miles, are 
the two atolls of Cocos and North Keeling, 
and to the north of these Glendinning Shoal. 
The submarine slopes of the island are very 
steep, and soundings of upwards of 1,000 
fathoms occur within two or three miles of the 
coast. To the north is Maclear Deep, in which 
3,200 fathoms were found, and to the south and 
south-west is the more extensive Wharton 

Deep, with upwards of 3,000 fathoms. The 
island, in fact, forms the summit of a sub- 
marine peak, the base of which rises from the 
low saddle which separates these two abysses, 
and on the western end of which the Cocos- 
Keeling Islands are situated. The first men- 
tion of Christmas Island occurs in a map by 
Pieter Goos, published in Holland in 1666, in 
which it is called Moni. In subsequent maps 
this name and that of Christmas Island are 
applied to it indifferently, but it is not known 
by whom the island was discovered and named. 
Dampier landed at the island in 1688, and a 
description of it is to be found in his 
"Voyages." Next the island was visited in 
1718 by Captain Daniel Beckman, who in a 
book he wrote on the subject gives a sketch of 

(From Captain Beckman's "Voyage to Borneo,") 

the island "in which the heights are ridicu- 
lously exaggerated." In 1771 the Figot, East 
Indiaman, attempted to find an anchorage but 
failed. The crews of this and other passing 
vessels reported the occurrence of wild pigs, 
coconut palms, and lime-trees, none of which 
really existed. The first attempt at an explora- 
tion was made by the frigate Amethyst m 1857. 
From this vessel a boat's crew was landed 
with the object of attempting to reach the 
summit, but the inland cliffs proved an insu- 
perable obstacle, and the ascent was aban- 
doned. In 1886 the surveying vessel Flying 
Fish (Captain Maclear) was ordered to make 
an examination of the island. A number of 
men were landed, and collections of the plants 
and animals were obtained, but since the island 
seemed of little value no serious attempt at 

exploration was made. In the following year 
H.M.S. Eoi-ria (Captain Pelham Aldrich) called 
at the island and remained about ten days. 
Captain Aldrich and his men cut a way to the 
top of the island, and sent home a number of 
rock specimens obtained on the wa\', and Mr. 
J. J. Custer, who accompanied the expedition 
as naturalist, made e.xtensive collections both 
of the fauna and flora, but had not time to 
penetrate to the middle of the island. The 
island was formally annexed by H.M.S. Iin- 
pcriciisc in June, 1888, and placed under the 
Straits Settlements Government. In 1890 H.M.S. 
Kedfolc called at the island for a few hours, 
and Mr. H. N. Ridley, of the Singapore Botani- 
cal Gardens, who was on board, collected a 
number of plants not previously recorded. It 
seemed desirable that a more complete exami- 
nation of the spot should be undertaken, and 
in 1896 Sir John Murray generously offered to 
pay the expenses of an expedition. Mr. C. W. 
Andrews, author of the monograph already 
referred to, obtained leave from the trustees of 
the British Museum to join the expedition. Mr. 
Andrews left England in the beginning of May, 
1897, and arrived off the island on July 29th. 
His sojourn extended over ten months, and 
during that period he and his companions 
accumulated a most valuable series of natural 
history and geological specimens, which now 
form a part of the national collections at South 

Mr. Andrews describes the climate of the 
island as both pleasant and healthy. Durin" 
the greater part of the year, he says, the 
weather is much like that of a hot drv English 
summer, tempered nearly always by a steady 
sea breeze from the ESE., which is generally 
fairly cool and keeps the temperature very 
even day and night. Except for showers at 
night, almost the whole rainfall occurs from 
December to May inclusive. During these 
months there are sometimes heavy downpours 
lasting several days, but as a rule the mornings 
are fine. In the dry season (May to December) 
the vegetation is kept fresh by very heavy dews 
and occasional showers at night. 

The soil is a rich brown loam, often strewn 
with nodules of phosphates, and here and 
there with fragments of volcanic rock. One of 



the most notable features about the island is the 
depth to which in man}' places the soil extends. 
A well was sunk by Mr. Ross for 40 feet without 
reaching the bed-rock. Mr. Andrews surmises 
that this great depth of soil is accounted for by 
the decomposition of volcanic rock. 

At the time of the visit by H.M.S. Egciia in 
1887 the island was totally uninhabited. In 
November, 1888, following upon the annexa- 
tion of the island, a settlement was established 
at Flying Fish Cove by Mr. G. Clunies Ross, of 
Cocos-Keeling Islands, and since that date this 
gentleman's brother, Mr. Andrew Clunies Ross, 
with his family and a few Cocos Island Malays, 
has resided there almost continuously. By 
them houses were built, wells were dug and 
small clearings for planting coffee, coconut 
palms,' banams and other plants were made in 
the neighbourhood of Flying Fish Cove. In 
February, 1891, Sir John Murray and Mr. G. 
Clunies Ross were granted a lease of the island 
by the British Government, and in 1895-96 Mr. 
Sidney Clunies Ross made explorations in the 
higher part of the island, resulting in the dis- 
covery of large deposits of phosphate of lime. 
Finally, in 1897, the leaseholders sold their 
lease to a small company^ in the possession of 
which the island still remains. 

Writing on the flora and fauna of the island, 
Mr. Andrews says that they are on the whole, 
as might be expected, most nearly related to 
those of the Indo-Malayan islands, but of this 
there are some exceptions in the case of certain 
groups. " Of the 319 species of animals re- 
corded 145, or about 45 per cent., are described 
as endemic. This remarkably high percentage 
of peculiar forms is, however, no doubt largely 
due to the fact that in some groups, particulai ly 
the insects, the species inhabiting Java and 
the neighbouring islands are still imperfectly 
known, and many now described for the first 
time from Christmas Island will probably be 
found to exist in other localities." 

The main group of the Cocos-Keeling Islands 
is situated between 12° 14' and 12° 13' S. and 
96° 49' 57" E. A smaller island belonging to 
the group is in n° 50' N. and 91° 50' E. The 
islands were discovered in 1609 by Captain 
Keeling on his voyage from Batavia to the 
Cape, and until quite recent times had an inde- 
pendent existence as an outlying possession of 
the Crown. In 1878, following upon their 
occupation for commercial purposes, they were 
attached to the Government of Ceylon. Four 
years later the supervision of the group was 
handed over to the Straits Settlements Govern- 

ment, who were rightly regarded as being 
better placed to discharge the not too exacting 
duties required. At different times the islands 
were visited by scientific travellers making a 
tour of investigation. The most distinguished 
of these visitors was Charles Darwin, who 
during the famous voyage of the Beagle put in 
at the islands in 1836 and remained there some 
little time. It was from observations made 
during his sojourn in the group that he formed 
his famous theory of the formation of coral 
reefs — a theory which it may be remarked 
is discredited by subsequent investigations and 
experience on the same spot. 

The islands are held under a lease from the 
Ci'own of one thousand years by Mr. George 
Clunies Ross, and this gentleman, with the 
members of his family, carry on a lucrative 
trade mainly in the produce of the coconut 
tree, which flourishes in the islands. Only 
three of the islands — Settlement, West, and 
Direction islands — are inhabited. The total 
population of the group in 1903 was 669, 
of whom 567 are Cocos born, the remainder 
representing Bantamese coolies and other im- 
ported labour. The entire population is en- 
gaged under Mr. Ross's direction in the 
cultivation of the coconut and the preparation 
of copra for export. In the Government report 
on the islands for 1901 the number of coconuts 
gathered on the islands was given at seven 
millions. But in the early part of 1902 a severe 
cyclone swept across the group, uprooting no 
fewer than 300,000 trees. This was a severe 
blow to the trade of the islands, and it will be 
years probably before the mischief is entirely 

Long completely isolated, the islands have 
been quite recently brought into intimate 
touch with the rest of the world by the estab- 
lishment of a station of the Eastern Telegraph 
Company on Direction Island. This link with 
civilisation was forged as the result of the 
sittings of the Cables Communication Com- 
mittee, which, in its report issued in 1902, 
recommended the construction of a cable 
from Rodriguez to Perth in Western Australia 
via the Cocos Group. The station is equipped 
with the latest appliances in telegraphy, and 
a speed of 120 letters a minute can be 
maintained on either cable without risk of 
error from indistinct signals. It is hoped that 
some day a cable from the islands will be con- 
structed to Ceylon and an "all-British route" 
thus provided. Meanwhile, there is reason to 
believe (says Mr. A. S. Baxendale, of the Feder- 

ated Malay States service, in his official report 
on the islands for 1903) that the islands will 
soon become an important signalling station 
for vessels steaming between Colombo and 
Fremantle. "The islands lie directly in the 
track of these vessels, and sometimes — as for 
instance occurred in April in the case of the 
Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Com- 
pany's steamship Himalaya — the name of the 
passing mail steamers can be read from the 
shore. It is probable that if the steamship 
companies concerned desired that their vessels 
should be afforded facilities for communicating 
by means of wireless telegraphy with the Cable 
Company's office, the company would be will- 
ing to establish on Direction Island a station on 
the Lodge-Muirhead system." 

Besides the islands referred to above, the 
Straits Settlements Government has since 1906 
been associated with the administration of 
Labuan, an island lying about six miles from 
the north-west coast of Borneo in the Malay 
Archipelago. The island, from 1890 until the 
period of its transfer to the Straits Settlements, 
was under the government of the British North 
Borneo Company. Though not large — the total 
area is only 30J square miles — the territory 
is one of some commercial promise. It has 
rich coal deposits, and there is considerable 
scope for planting enterprise. The trade at 
present, apart from coal, is largely in sago, 
gutta percha, indiarubber, wax, &c., imported 
from Borneo and other islands and exported 
to Singapore. The population in 1901 was 
estimated at 8,411. It consisted chiefly of 
Malays from Borneo, but there was a consider- 
able Chinese colony, and there were also thirty 
European residents. The- capital of the island 
is a settlement of 1,500 inhabitants to which the 
name Victoria has been given. The trade of 
the island amounted in 1905 to ;^'I30,I35 in 
exports and ;£io8,766 in imports, as compared 
with £153,770 exports and £' 157,068 imports in 
the previous year. The tonnage entered and 
cleared in 1905 was 321,400, against 311,744 in 
1904. The great bulk of the trade being with 
Singapore, the trade with the United Kingdom 
direct is infinitesimal. The revenue of the place 
is derived from retail licences and customs 
duties on spirits, wine, tobacco, &c. The tiny 
colony is in the happy position of having no 
public debt. It also possesses the advantage of 
direct communication with the outer world, as 
the cable from Hongkong to Singapore touches 
on its shores, and there is also telegraphic com- 
munication with the mainland. 








O R L D - W I D E as the 
colonising influence of 
the United Kingdom 
lias been, it is doubtful 
whether its beneficent 
results have ever been 
more stril^ingly manifest 
than in British Malaya. 
The Straits Settlements 
can look back over a century of phenomenal 
prosperity under British rule, and the prospect 
for the future is as bright as the record of the 
past. Pinang and Singapore have been the 
keys which have unlocked the portals of the 
Golden Peninsula, so that its wealth in well- 
laden argosies has been distributed to the four 
corners of the earth. And by a natural process 
the spirit of enterprise and progress has com- 
municated itself to the Hinterland, which is 
being rapidly opened up and bids fair to 
become a veritable commercial El Dorado. 
From this territory the world derives no less 
than two-thirds of its total supply of tin, while 
vast areas of land are being placed under 
cultivation for rubber, which promises to 
become a great and increasing source of 
revenue year by year. 

Until the early part of 1907 the Straits Settle- 
ments were in the happy position of having a 
balance of 3,200,000 dollars to their credit. In 
the opening months of the year, however, they 
raised a loan of £7,861,457 for the purpose of 
acquiring the Tanjong Pagar Docks and 
improving the Singapore harbour. The sum 
paid for the docks amounted to about three 
millions and a half sterling, and in respect of 
this the undertaking will be called upon to pay 
4 per cent, per annum. For the expenditure 
upon the harbour the Government will be in 
some measure reimbursed by the sale of 
reclaimed land, which is expected to produce 
a large sum. The revenue of the colony has 
increased from 7,041,686 dollars in igoi to 
9,631,944 dollars in 1906, while the expenditure 
within that period has grown from 7,315,000 
dollars to 8,747,820 dollars. More than one- 
half the total revenue is derived from the opium 

The financial position of the Federated 
Malay States is exceptionally sound. Perak, 
Selangor and Negri Sambilan show excess 
assets amounting to 36,576,569 dollars, and the 
excess liabilities of Pahang, amounting to 

5,788,303 dollars, represent only loans advanced 
free of interest by the other three States for the 
development of the country. The revenue of 
the Federated Malay States has increased from 
5.013,000 dollars in 1889 to 27,223,476 dollars in 
1906. To the latter sum the export duty on 
lin contributed no less than 10,036,607 dollars. 
The expenditure has risen from 4,091,078 
dollars in 1889 to 18,899,425 dollars in 1906. 

Except for an excise duty on opium and 
alcoholic liquors, all the ports of the colony 
are free, and the only charge on shipping is a 
light due of a penny a ton in and out. It is 
this freedom which in a large measure explains 
the pre-eminence of the colony over its older 
Dutch rivals, where trade is hampered by 
heavy duties on imports. The exports of 
merchandise from the colony, excluding inter- 
port trade, were valued in 1906 at 281,273 and 
the imports at 3 17,851 million dollars. Together 
these exceeded by 14,392 million dollars the 
return for 1902, when the figures were 273,622 
and 3ir, no million dollars respectively. The 
gross aggregate trade, including the movement 
of treasure, showed, however, a falling off of 
about 2,645 million dollars when compared 
with the figure for 1902. In order to appreciate 
correctly the comparisons instituted, it is 
necessary to bear in mind that the value of 
the dollar in 1902 was only is. 8Jd., whereas in 
1906 it was 2s. 4d. 

It is gratifying to observe the increasing 
growth of the import trade with the United 
Kingdom. The commodities purchased from 
the mother country exceeded in value those 
from the Continents of Europe and America 
by III million dollars during the ten years 
1887-96 and by 129'5 million dollars in the 
following decade. The exports to the United 
Kingdom are worth about double as much as 
those to America, which comes next amongst 
Western nations as a purchaser of the colony's 
products and ranks second only to Germany as 
a shipper. The greatest portion of the colony's 
trade is with the Malay Peninsula, the United 
Kingdom, the Netherlands Indies, British India 
and Burma, Siam, Hongkong, China, and the 
United States of America in the order given. 

In the Federated Malay States the only 
import duties are on spirits and opium, except 
in Pahang, where tobacco is also taxed. Duties 
are collected on all the commodities sent out 
of the country. The duty on tin varies accord- 

ing to the market price of the metal, while 
cultivated rubber, tapioca, gambler, and pepper 
pay an ad valorem export duty of 2j per cent. 
The value of the exports (excluding bullion) 
from the Federated Malay States in igo6 was 
79,178,891 dollars as compared with 29,402,343 
dollars, ten years previously. To this total tin ore 
contributed no less than 7 1, 104, [91 dollars, culti- 
vated rubber 1,855,486 dollars, sugar 1,044,625 
dollars, and tapioca, coffee, copra, gambler, padi, 
pepper, gutta percha, and dried fish 5,000,000 
dollars. The equivalent of 331,234 dollars was 
exported in gold from the mines of Pahang. The 
imports amounted to 44,547, 133 dollars as against 
20,074,531 dollars in 1897, and consisted chiefly 
of opium, provisions, cotton textiles, hardware, 
and iron-ware. The bulk of these exports and 
imports are shipped through Singapore and 

Shipping is as the breath of life to the Straits 
Settlements. Singapore is the seventh port of 
the world, and is a port of call for vessels 
trading between Europe or India and the 
Far East, the north of Australia, and the 
Netherlands Indies. Pinang is the emporium 
for all the trade for the northern parts of 
Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. The total 
tonnage of the shipping cleared at Singapore, 
Pinang, and Malacca in 1906 was 11,191,776 — an 
increase of 466,490 tons over the return for the 
previous year. The aggregate tonnage of the 
shipping cleared at Singapore, which is a port 
of call for most of the shipping of the colony, 
was 6,661,549, or 2,667,944 more than in 1896. 
During the period under review the tonnage of 
British shipping increased from 2,630,472 to 
3,602,126 tons, and of German from 484,447 to 
974,241 tons. Amongst the smaller competitors 
Japan has made the most headway, advancing 
from the position of eighth on the list, with a 
tonnage of only 54,172 tons, to that of fifth with 
a tonnage of 238,454 tons. 

At the present time British shipping in the 
colony is unfairly handicapped by the immunity 
which foreign competitors enjoy from regula- 
tions which vessels flying the red ensign are 
obliged to observe. Under the existing law 
foreign shipping can demand a clearance 
though overloaded to the deck-line, and it runs 
no risk of detention on the ground that hull, 
equipment, or machinery is defective. These 
inequalities will be removed by a measure, 
framed on the model of the Merchant Shipping 



Acts of 1894 and 1906, which is now engaging 
the attention of the Attorney-General of the 
Straits Settlements. This measure will provide, 
also, for the consolidation of the merchant 
shipping laws of the colony, which are now 
in a state bordering upon chaos, and will 
probably contain a clause prohibiting masters 
and mates of foreign ships from obtaining local 
pilotage certificates. 

All the important shipping lines calling at 
Singapore and Pinang have combined for 
some years past to charge uniform rates for 
the conveyance of freight and passengers to 
and from the colony. Their practice is to grant 
n rebate equal to 10 per cent, per annum to 
all shippers who use their lines exclusively, 
5 per cent, being paid at the end of the first six 
months and another five in respect of that 
period six months later. In this way the steam- 
ship companies always hold a considerable sum 
in hand, and prevent the local shipper from 
seeking relief elsewhere. The possibility of 
competition being thus precluded, the combine 
is in a position to name its own terms, and the 
natural consequence has been a considerable 
increase in freight rates. In proof of this it 
may be mentioned that the charge for carrying 
tin has been raised from 6s. 5d. per picul 
(133J lbs.) in 1892 to 28s. 4d. in 1906. But 
this does not constitute the whole of the 
indictment alleged against the combine. A 
system of preference is adopted whereby some 
local firms benefit at the cost of others. For, 
in addition to the rebates already referred to, 
a further 5 per cent, on the total freight 
carried by the combine is distributed amongst 
a limited number of privileged firms or persons. 
Again, as all transhipment cargo is excluded 
from the tariff, the combine is free to accept at 
any rate foreign goods shipped via Singapore 
on through bills of lading. The British manu- 
facturer is handicapped by the fact that certain 
goods, such as tin and gums, can be delivered 
in America at a cheaper rate than they can be 
placed in any port of the United Kingdom 
except London. This is notably the case with 
tin, which .costs 5s. a ton more to Swansea 
than to New York. These facts are generally 
admitted, but it is urged in mitigation of 
them that the combine has provided the colony 
with better, faster, and more regular shipping 
opportunities than existed in the days of 
cheaper, but more speculative, freights, and 
that this has tended to create easier financial 
facilities. On the other hand it is contended 
that these advantages are the outcome of a 
natural process of evolution. Since the forma- 
tion of the combine the shipments from ihe 
colony, which were incre.ising, have fallen, and 
the matter is engaging the attention of a Royal 

As has already been stated, the Government 
of the Straits Settlements have recently acquired 
the Tanjong Pagar Docks, and are carrying out 
a number of works for the improvement of 
Singapore harbour. A progressive policy is 
also being adopted in regard to the port of 
Pinang, where, however, some little feeling of 
dissatisfaction prevails in consequence of what 
is thought to be the preferential treatment of 
Singapore. On the Malay Peninsula the 
harbours are chiefly interesting by reason of the 
possibilities which they offer for future develop- 

ment. It seems to be generally agreed that 
Port S wettenham is destined to outstrip its rivals, 
the intention of the Government being appa- 
rently to concentrate there the shipping of the 
central and southern portion of the Federated 
Malay States, by developing to the utmost the 
natural advantages of the port. The east coast, 
the navigation of which is attended with much 
danger to small shipping during certain seasons 
of the year, is singularly destitute of accommo- 
dation for shipping, but at the mouth of the river 
Kuantan, in Pahang, there is a deep-water front 
extending for some considerable distance. 
Steps are being taken to remove the sand-bar 
at the mouth of the river, and these may be 
followed by the construction of a groyne to 
prevent further silting. 

Opium is a very fruitful source of revenue to 
the Straits Settlements, contributing no less a 
sum than five or six million dollars, or rather 
more than one-half of the total revenue of the 
colony. In the Federated Malay States, also, 
the Government derives about two and a half 
million dollars annually from the drug. The 
quantity imported into the Federated Malay 
States, however, is three times as great as in 
the Straits Settlements. The difference in the 
sum yielded is attributable to several causes. 
In the colony the exclusive right to import, 
manufacture, and sell opium is farmed out to 
the highest bidder, but in the Federated Malay 
States, except in the coast districts — a com- 
paratively small area — anyone may import 
opium on payment of the import duty, which 
nou' stands at 560 dollars a chest. Again, the 
miners in the Federated Malay States are paid 
to a considerable extent in kind, including 
opium, and the opium smokers are more ex- 
travagant than in the Straits Settlements, where 
the drug is a much more expensive luxury. It 
must be remembered also that the figures of 
opium consumption in the Straits Settlements 
are those of the drug imported by the farmers ; 
but it is a well known fact that thousands of 
dollars' worth of opium — much of it from the 
Federated Malay States — are smuggled into the 
colony, and this cannot well be stopped, as 
there is no Customs department in the Straits 
Settlements. In the Federated Malay States 
there is a Customs department, and there is less 
inducement to smuggle owing to the low price 
at which the drug is retailed there. 

The Chinese are inveterate gamblers, and 
recognising this fact, the Federated Malay 
States Government have legalised gambling in 
properly licensed premises. The monopoly of 
conducting these gambling houses is farmed 
out, after being submitted to tender. A sub- 
stantial revenue accrues to the Government 
from this source. In the Straits Settlements, 
however, gambling is prohibited, and the law 
is enforced by severe penalties. 

The tin raining industry in the Federated 
Malay States provides employment for 212,660 
labourers, the greater proportion of whom work 
upon the "tribute" system, under which their 
earnings are to some extent dependent upon the 
success or failure of the mine. The total area 
of land alienated for mining purposes at the 
close of igo6 was 263,800 acres, more than one- 
half of which area is in the State of Perak. 
Upon only a small portion of this acreage, how- 
ever, are mining operations actually in progress. 

The primitive methods adopted by the Chinese 
for the winning of tin ore are now being 
superseded largely by more modern systems, 
which have been rendered necessary by the ex- 
haustion of the more easily won tin-bearing 
deposits. It seems almost certain that the 
future of the tin mining industry in the Fede- 
rated Malay States will depend upon the 
economical development, on a large scale, of 
low-grade propositions. The methods of work- 
ing in vogue fall into three classes — the open- 
cast system, the underground workings, and the 
alluvial washings known as "tampans." In 
not a few instances also the pay-dirt is washed 
down from the sides of the hills by hydraulic 
pressure, the water being sometimes brought 
from great distances in order to secure a suffi- 
cient head. After the "karang" has been 
washed down it is treated in the ordinary way 
by means of wash-boxes or riffles. 

Next to the tin industry, and promising soon 
to outrival it in importance as a commercial 
and revenue producing factor, is the great 
rubber-planting industry. Though quite in its 
infancy it is already taking a prominent posi- 
tion in the finances of the federated territory, 
as will be seen from the figures given else- 
where. A simple statement of fact will bring 
home to readers the truly remarkable develop- 
ment which the States are undergoing as a 
result of the rise of rubber. At the end of 1905 
there were in the States 40,000 acres under 
rubber ; twelve months later the area under 
cultivation was 100,000 acres. Xor is the end 
yet by a long way. Immense areas still await 
the attention of the pioneering planter, and 
without doubt they will receive it. Thus a 
splendid future awaits planting enterprise in 
the Federated States unless some great calamity 
occurs, or, what at the moment seems highly 
improbable, some efficient substitute for rubber 
is discovered. 

Owing to the difficulty which has been 
experienced by certain estates in the Federated 
Malay States in obtaining an adequate supply 
of labour, the Government have decided to 
levy a poll-tax, not exceeding five dollars per 
coolie, on all employers of this class of labour, 
for the purpose of forming a fund for the estab- 
lishment of a labour recruiting agency. From 
this source mine managers and estate agents 
will be able to obtain all the labour they require 
for the development of their properties, without 
incurring the expenditure of bringing over from 
India Tamils who frequently abscond in order 
to take up temporary employment of a more 
remunerative nature before they have repaid 
the sums advanced to them for the cost of 
transit, &c. 

The Government of the Federated Malay 
States have not failed to keep pace with private 
enterprise. The country is intersected with 
excellent roads, which are being rapidly ex- 
tended, and a well-equipped railway runs from 
Prye, the northern extremity of Perak, opposite 
Pinang, to the borders of Johore, with branch 
lines to the various ports on the seaboard. This 
railway was constructed entirely out of the 
revenue of the States, and has already paid 
dividends equal to 40 per cent, of the capital 
expenditure. Several extensions of the system 
are under consideration, and it is almost certain 
that before long a line will be carried into 



Pahang, the least-developed of the four Slates 
comprised in the Federation. At the time of 
writing, a line of 120 miles in length is being 
constructed through the independent State of 
Johore with money advanced by the Federated 
Malay States. When this project is completed, 
some time in 1909, it will be possible to travel 
by rail from Singapore to Prye, and it is con- 
sidered probable that some day in the future 
connection may be established with Calcutta by 
means of a trunk line through the intervening 

Scarcely any steps were taken by the Govern- 
ment to provide education in the colony until 
1872, in which j'ear the Education Department 
was formed. In 1906 the Education Depart- 
ments of the colony and the Federated States 
were amalgamated under one head, and Mr. 
J. B. Elcum, B.A. Oxon., was appointed 
Director of Public Instruction. It is hoped 
shortly to assimilate entirely the educational 
systems in the two territories. The codes now 
in force, though very similar, contain certain 
important differences, and the methods of 
administration show even greater differences. 
In igo6 there were in the Straits Settlements 
35 English-teaching schools and 174 vernacu- 
lar schools, while in the Federated Malay 
States the numbers were 22 and 263 re- 
spectively. All the vernacular schools, except 
a few in which Tamil and Chinese are 
taught, are purely Government schools for 
the teaching of Malay. The ISnglish schools 
and the Chinese and Tamil vernacular 
schools receive a grant-in-aid from the Govern- 
ment based on attendance, merit, organisa- 
tion, and discipline. Apart from expenditure 
upon school buildings, the net cost of education 
during 1906 was in the Straits Settlements 
328,635 dollars, or 15.42 dollars per pupil, 
and in the Federated Malay States 263,876 
dollars, or 15.45 dollars per pupil. 

The total average number of children in 
the Government schools of all kinds has 
materially increased of late years. In igo6 it 
was approximately 38,380, but exact figures 
are not available for Pahang, where educa- 
tion is still very backward. The average 
attendance of pupils was 83-6 per cent. 
These figures appear small in comparison 
with the population, but it must be remem- 
bered that only among the Eurasians and 
Malays, who alone are settled under normal 
conditions, is the proportion of children to 
adults as large as in most countries. The 
cause of education is severely handicapped, 
too, by the fact that the Malays and Chinese 
are almost indifferent as to the instruction of 
their female children ; the Chinese, however, 
are very much alive to the advantage of an 
English education for their sons. Thus it 

happens that, although nearly half the 
children of school-going age are girls, only 
4,260 girls attended school in 1906, as com- 
pared with 34,120 boys. 

At all the large and important English 
schools there are classes for the continued 
instruction of boys who have passed Standard 
VII., and generally between loo and 200 
candidates are presented each year at the 
Cambridge Senior and Junior Examinations 
held at Singapore and Pinang. These 
examinations were dropped in the Federated 
Malay States for a few years, but Kuala 
Lvunpor was again made a centre in 1907. 
The great inducement to take up secondary 
work in the Straits Settlements has been the 
Queen's Scholarship, of the value of ;f25o 
per year, tenable for not more than five 
years at an English University. Hitherto 
two of these scholarships have been awarded 
each year, but it is now proposed to dis- 
continue one and devote the money to the 
improvement of local education. An occa- 
sional scholarship on the same lines has also 
been given in the Federated Malay States. 
Special grants and prizes are offered for boys 
who are trained in a commercial class in 
shorthand, typewriting, bookkeeping, and 
composition, but, so far, very little advantage 
has been taken of these offers in the 
Federated Malay States. Attempts to provide 
technical instruction have not proved popular, 
but a large and satisfactory science class has 
been estabhshed at Raffles Institute, Singapore. 

The Straits Settlements are administered by 
a Governor, an Executive Council, composed 
entirely of officials, and a Legislative Council 
containing a minority of representatives of the 
general community appointed by the Governor. 
The germ of the principle of popular election 
is seen in the privilege accorded to the Singa- 
pore and Pinang Chambers of Commerce of 
each nominating a member for the Legislative 
Council, The Governor of the Straits Settle- 
ments is also High Commissioner of the 
Federated Malay States. Subordinate to him 
are the Resident-General and four British 
Residents — one for each of the States com- 
prised in the Federation. The system of 
government is tantamount to a bureaucracy, 
and the territory is for all practical purposes 
as British as the neighbouring colony itself. 
The Sultans rule but do not govern, and 
although it is provided that no measure can 
become law until it has been passed by the 
Council of each State to which it applies, 
these bodies are, in reality, merely advisory. 

As regards local government there are in 
Singapore, Pinang, and Malacca Municipal 
Commissions, with powers very similar to 
those .possessed by Urban District Councils in 

Great Britain. The members are partly nomi- 
nated by the Governor and partly elected by 
popular vote. This vote is limited to adult 
male British subjects occupying or possessing 
property of a certain rateable value. In the 
Federated Malay States the chief centres of 
population are administered by Sanitary 
Boards, consisting of civil servants and an 
unofficial minority chosen by the Government. 
The trend of things at the present day is, 
undoubtedly, in the direction of extending the 
principle of federation. Each year similar 
departments, which formerly existed inde- 
pendently of one another in each of the States, 
are being amalgamated, in order to establish 
uniformity and promote efficiency. At the 
present time the Public Works, Railways, 
Post Office, Land and Survey, Mines, Forests, 
Agriculture, Fisheries, Finance, Police, Prisons, 
Trade and Customs, Immigration, Education, 
Museum, and Printing Departments are each 
under one head. The Judiciary, the military 
forces, and the Chinese Secretariat are also 
Federal institutions. By an elaborate system 
of bookkeeping an attempt is made to keep 
the finances of the different States distinct 
from one another, but their interests are so 
very closely interwoven that it is only 
possible to appear to do this on paper. It is 
probably only a matter of time before even 
this attempt will be abandoned, and, con- 
temporaneously with this, one may expect to 
see the establishment of a system of Federal 
Government, something on the lines of the 
Executive and Legislative Councils in the 
Straits Settlements. The mining and planting 
communities, to whom, of course, the pros- 
perity of the Federated Malay States is mainly 
due, appear to think that they are entitled 
to some more effective voice in the manage- 
ment of the country than they possess under 
the existing system. But the principle of 
unification seems not unlikely to spread 
even beyond these limits. Not only is the 
Governor of the Straits Settlements High 
Commissioner for the Federated Malay States, 
but quite recently a Director of Education, 
an Inspector-General of Hospitals, a Con- 
servator of Forests, and a Secretary for 
Chinese Affairs have been appointed for the 
Straits Settlements and Federated Malay 
States conjointly. An arrangement, too, has 
been made whereby the Puisne Judges of the 
Straits Settlements and the Judicial Commis- 
sioners of the Federated Malay States will 
be interchangeable. Gradually the colony and 
the Federated Malay States, with their mutual 
commercial interests and interdependent 
business relationships, are being drawn more 
and more closely together for administrative 
purposes to their common advantage. 







IPPENDED is a list of 
tiie Governors and Ad- 
ministrators of the 
Straits Settlements since 
these were taken over 
by the Colonial Office 
in 1867 : 
Colonel Harry St. George Ord, R.E., C.B., 

April I, 1867, to March 3, 1871. 
Lieut. -Colonel Archibald Edward Har- 
BORD Anson, R.A., Administrator, 
March 4, 1871, to March 22, 1872. 

Major-General Sir Harry St. George Ord, 
C.B. (G.C.M.G.), March 23, 1872, to 
November 2, 1873. 

Lieut. -Colonel Archibald Edward Harbord 
Axson, R.A., Administrator, November 3, 
1873, to November 4, 1873. 

Colonel Sir Axdrew Clarke, K.E., K.C.M.G., 
C.B., November 4, 1873, to May 10, 

Colonel Sir Francis Drummond 
Jervois, R.E., K.C.M.G., C.B. (Major- 
General, G.C.M.G.), May 10, 1875, to 
April 3, 1877. 

Colonel Archibald Edward Harbord Anson, 
R.A., C.M.G., Administrator, April 3, 
1877, to October 29, 1877. 

Sir William Cleaver Francis Robinson, 
K.C.M.G., October 2g, 1877, to February 
10, 1879. 

Major-General Sir Archibald Edward Axsox, 
R..A., K.C.M.G., Administrator, February 
10, 1879, to ^lay 6, 1880. 

Frederick Aloysius Weld, C.M.G., Adminis- 
trator, May 6, 1880, to March 28, 1884. 

Cecil Clemexti Smith, C.M.G., Administrator, 
March 29, 1884, to November 12, 1885. 

Sir Frederick Aloysius Weld, K.C.M.G., 
November 13, 1885, to May 13, 1887. 

John Frederick Dickson, C.M.G., Adminis- 
trator, May 14, 1887, to June 19, 1887. 

Sir Frederick Aloysius Weld, G.C.M.G., 
June 20, 1887, to October 17, 1887. 

Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, K.C.M.G., October 
20, 1887, to Acril 8, 1890. 

Sir J. F DERick „iCKSON, K.C.M.G., Aamin- 
istrator, April 8, 1890, to November 11, 
1S90. ^^ 

Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, WC.M.G. 
(G.C.M.G.), November 12, 1890, to 
August 30, 1893. 

William Edward Maxwell, C.M.G. 
(K.C.M.G.), Administrator, August 30, 
1893, to January 31, 1894. 

Lieut. -Colonel Sir Charles Bullex Hugh 
Mitchell, K.C.M.G. (G.C.M.G.), Feb- 
ruary I, 1894, to March 27, 1898. 

Sir James Alexander Swettenham, K.C.M.G., 
Administrator, March 28, 1898, to Decem- 
ber 29, i8g8. 

Lieut. -Colonel Sir Charles Bullen Hugh 
Mitchell, G.C.M.G., December 30, i8g8, 
to December 7, 1899. 

Sir James Alexander Swettenham, K.C.M.G., 
Administrator, December 8, 1899, to Feb- 
ruary 18, 1901. 

Sir Frank Athelstaxe Swettenham, 
K.C.M.G., Administrator, February 18, 
1901, to September 25, 1901. 

Sir Fraxk Athelstane Swettenham, 
K.C.M.G., September 26, 1901, to October 
12, 1903. 

William Thomas Taylor, C.M.G., Adminis- 
trator, October 13, 1903, to April 15, 1904. 

Sir John Anderson, K.C.M.G., April 15, 1904, 
to March I, 1906. 

Sir William Taylor, K.C.M.G., Administrator, 
March 2, 1906. 

Sir John .\ndersox, K.C.M.G., present time. 



HE history of the con- 
stitution and law of our 
Straits Settlements is 
like the history of the 
British Empire itself in 
this respect — that it is 
one of gradual growth 
and accretion, of a sub- 
stantial superstructure 
built upon small but sound foundations bor- 
rowed from those massive and enduring 
pedestals upon which tower the might and 
consequence of Greater Britain. From being 
originally an appanage of the Honourable the 
East India Company, the Straits Settlements 
have come to be a leading Crown colony of 
the Empire. Passing, with the demise of 
" John Company," under the control of our 
Indian Government, the Straits Settlements 
were finally transferred to the care of the 
Secretary of State for the Colonies by an 
Order in Council dated April i, 1867. 

The seat of government is the town of 
Singapore, on the island of the same name, 
and the Government consists of a Governor, 
with an Executive and a Legislative Council. 
This latter body is composed of nine official 
and seven unofficial members, of whom two 
are nominated by the Singapore and Pinang 
Chambers of Commerce. The nine official 
members constitute the Executive or Cabinet. 
In each of the settlements there are also muni- 
cipal bodies, some of the members of which 
are elected by the ratepayers, while others are 
appointed by the Governor. 

To make matters clear, it may be well to out- 
line briefly the colony's general history, with 
which is seen the gradual development of her 
constitution and law. At the present time the 
colony consists of the island and town of 
Singapore, the province of Malacca, the island 
and town of Pinang, the Dindings, Province 
Wellesley, the island of Labuan, the Cocos 
Islands, and Christmas Island — the two last 
having been acquired in 1886 and 1889 respec- 
tively. Pinang was the first British settlement 
on tire Malayan peninsula, being ceded to the 
British by the Raja of Kedah in 1785. Malacca, 
which had been held successively by the Portu- 
guese and the Dutch, was acquired by Great 
Britain under treaty with Holland in 1824, 
though it had been held previously by the 
English from 1795 till 1818. The founding of 
Pinang led to a transference of most of the 
trade which had previously gone to Malacca. 
In 1819 Singapore was acquired, and in 1826 

this settlement, together with Malacca, was 
incorporated with Pinang under one govern- 
ment, of which Pinang remained the centre 
of administration until 1830, when Singapore 
became the headquarters of the Government. 

With the systems of administration which 
obtained in Pinang and Malacca before that 
date we need trouble ourselves but little. 
Malacca had been held by European nations 
since 1511, and Pinang had been under the 
East India Company since its acquirement in 
1785 ; but it was not until the fusion of the 
three settlements under one head that the con- 
stitution and law of the colony became concrete 
and solidified. At the time of the British 
occupation of Singapore, Pinang and Malacca 
were administered by a Governor appointed by 
the Governor-General of India. There was 
also a Lieutenant-Governor (Sir Stamford 
Raffles) at Bencoolen, and it was under his 
regime that Singapore was first placed, when it 
became a British settlement, with Major Far- 
quhar as Resident. In those days the govern- 
ment of a people or community in the Malayan 
archipelago was carried out very much by rule 
of thumb. The Resident or Governor was 
absolute, and a free application of the Mosaic 
law was considered adequate to meet such 
cases as came up for adjudication. As the Straits 
Settlements grew in population and importance, 
however, properly constituted courts of law had 
to be established, and the laws as applied in 
India were adopted generally, with adaptations 
to meet local requirements. In 1819 the Resi- 
dent of Singapore performed the dual duties 
of Magistrate and Paymaster, his only official 
colleague being the Master Attendant, who had 
also to act in the capacity of Keeper of Govern- 
ment Stores. A few years later, however, the 
Governor appointed a number of civil magis- 
trates to administer the laws of the infant 

Only a year after Singapore was founded 
there arose a difference of opinion between the 
Governor and the Resident in respect of a 
matter which has been a fruitful source of 
controversy ever since — namely, the opium and 
spirit traffic. The Resident proposed to establish 
farms for these commodities. Sir Stamford 
Raffles wrote from Bencoolen that he con- 
sidered this proposal highly objectionable 
(though there were such farms at Pinang and 
Malacca), and inapplicable to the principles 
upon which the establishment at Singapore 
was founded. But the leases of the farms were 
sold, nevertheless, and rents were exacted 
from the opium and arrack shops and 
gaming tables. Law and order in the settle- 
ment were now maintained by a superintendent 
of police with less than a dozen native con- 

stabulary, which body in 1821 was augmented 
by a force of ten night watchmen paid for by 
the merchants of the place. 

Two of the civil magistrates sat in the court 
with the Resident to decide civil and criminal 
cases, and two acted in rotation each week to 
discharge the minor duties of their office. 
Juries consisted either of five Europeans, or 
of four Europeans with three respectable 
natives. Indiscriminate gambling and cock- 
fighting were strictly prohibited. In 1823, 
owing to the Resident having been severely 
stabbed by an Arab who had " run amok," the 
carrying of arms by natives was abolished. In 
a memorable proclamation which he issued in 
the same year regarding the administration of 
the laws of the colony. Sir Stamford Raffles 
pointed out how repugnant would be the direct 
application, to a mixed Asiatic community, of 
European laws, with their accumulated pro- 
cesses and penalties, adding that nothing 
seemed to be left but to have recourse to first 
principles. The proclamation proceeded : 
Let all men be considered equal in the eye 

of the lavsr. 
Let no man be banished the country without 
a trial by his peers, or by due course 
of law. 
Let no man be deprived of his liberty without 
a cause, and no man detained in confine- 
ment beyond forty-eight hours without a 
right to demand a hearing and trial. 
Let the people have a voice through the 
magistracy by which their sentiments may 
at all times be freely expressed. 
This last clause of Raffles's pronouncement 
embodies the first recognition of popular con- 
trol, or the municipal idea, as it might more 
properly be called, which is now seen in its 
more developed form in the ratepayers' re- 
presentation on the Municipal Board and 
the unofficial element on the Legislative 

The proposed abolition of the Gambling 
Farms furnished a subject round which waged 
a fierce war of opinions for several years. 
On the one hand the continued existence of 
the farming system was advocated as a moral 
duty leading to good regulation of an ad- 
mittedly immoral practice ; and on the other 
hand it was discountenanced on sentimental 
grounds. It was formally abolished by decree 
in 1829, but this led not only to surreptitious 
gambhng but also to corruption of the police, 
and, however much the latter of these two 
regrettable results has been minimised, the 
former is as much an established fact to-day 
in Singapore as it was in those early years 
of the colony's history. 

In the Protected Native States there are 



Gambling Farms now, as there always have 
been, the principle underlying these institu- 
tions being that the vice may be controlled 
through a Farm, because it is then necessarily 
conducted in public, and the farmers (like the 
opium and spirit farmers, who still exist in 
the colony) will prevent private gaming in 
their own interests. It is recognised, too, that 
the evil cannot be suppressed by an inefficient 
force of police who are exposed to unlimited 

In consequence of a report received from 
the Resident complaining of the great incon- 
venience arising from the want of a resident 
Judge at Singapore, the Court of Judicature of 
Pinang, Singapore, and Malacca was estab- 
lished by Letters Patent on Xovember 27, 1826. 
On March 6th in the following year it was 
opened by notification of Government, the 
Resident's Court was closed, and suits for sums 
above 32 dollars were removed to H.M. Court. Sir 
John T. Claridge took up his office as Recorder 
in August, and arrived from Pinang on the 
4th of September. At about the same time 
Courts of Requests were established in the 
settlements. In 1828 the first Criminal Sessions 
were held in Singapore and Malacca. During 
all these years the administration of the affairs 
of the colony was vested entirely in the 
Governor, subject to the Court of Directors 
of the East India Company ; while municipal 
assessments, &c., were left in the hands of 
the Court of Magistrates, official and non- 
official, whose findings were subject to the 
Governor's approval. 

In 1832, about the month of December, the 
seat of government was transferred from 
Pinang to Singapore, which had become the 
most important of the three settlements. A 
Resident Councillor was appointed for each 
of the thi'ee towns, and the Governor visited 
each in turn to assist in the administration 
of justice and in any other matters requiring 
his attention. Meanwhile the Recorder system 
continued in the Court of Judicature. In 1855 
two Recorders were appointed. This arrange- 
ment was still in force in 1867, when the 
government of the Straits Settlements was 
made over from the Indian Administration 
to the Colonial Office. The intervening years 
from 1830 to 1867 show no change in the 
governmental or judicial systems except such 
as are incidental to the remarkable growth 
and development of the colony's trade and 
population. The civil establishment had, of 
course, to be increased, and the scope of the 
judicial courts extended from time to time 
to meet the needs of the community. 

For many years before the latter date there 
had been a growing agitation against the colony 
remaining under the dominance of the Indian 
Government, who, it was held — and rightly 
so — had not done justice to the Straits Settle- 
ments, but had administered them in ignorance 
of their requirements and vastly enhanced im- 
portance. After long and tedious delays the 
Home Government at length sanctioned the 
transfer to the Colonial Office, and it was 
finally effected on April I, 1867, on which 
date the Straits Settlements were advanced 
to the dignity of a Crown Colony, with Colonel 
Harry St. George Ord as first Governor and 
a fully constituted Executive and Legislative 
Council. From that date up to the present 
time there has been no change in the form 
of administration. 

The Executive Council consists of the senior 
military officer in command of the troops (if 
not below the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel) 
and the persons discharging the functions of 
Colonial Secretary, of Resident Councillor in 
any of the settlements, of Attorney-General, 
of Treasurer, of Auditor-General, and of Colonial 
Engineer. The Governor must, in the exercise 
of all his powers, consult with the Council 
unless, in his opinion, the public service would 

sustain " material prejudice " thereby, or the 
matter to be decided is too unimportant to 
require the Council's advice or too urgent 
to admit of its being taken. In any such case, 
the Council must be made acquainted with all 
the circumstances at the earliest opportunity. 
The Council cannot meet unless summoned by 
the Governor, who may call a meeting in any 
settlement in which he may happen to be. A 
quorum consists of the President and two other 
members. The Governor is alone empowered 
to submit questions for consideration, but it is 
competent for any member to make written 
application for a subject to be discussed, and, 
in the event of his Excellency withholding his 
permission, to require the application and the 
ground of its refusal to be recorded in the 
minutes, which are transmitted to the home 
authorities every six months. The Governor 
may, if he think fit, disregard the advice of 
the Council, but the circumstances under which 
he does so must be reported to the Home 
Government at the first convenient oppor- 

The Legislative Council is composed of the 
nine members of the Executive, together with 
five gentlemen nominated by the Governor 
from the general community and two members 
appointed by the Governor on the nomination 
of the Singapore and Pinang Chambers of 
Commerce — all seven of whom hold office 
for three years each. A majority of "official" 
members is thus always assured. The Council 
has full power " to establish all such laws, 
institutions, and ordinances, and to constitute 
such courts and offices, and to make such 
provisions and regulations for the proceedings 
in such courls, and for the administration of 
justice, and for the raising and expenditure 
of the public revenue as may be deemed 
advisable for the peace, order, and good 
government" of the settlements. It is com- 
petent for any three members, including the 
Governor or member appointed by him to 
preside, to transact business. Every member 
is entitled to raise for debate any question 
he may think fit, and, if it be seconded, it must 
be decided by a majority of votes. The re- 
servation, however, is made that all propositions 
for spending money must emanate from the 
Governor, and that his Excellency's assent 
must not be given, save in very extreme cases 
and then only under certain conditions, to — 

1. Any Ordinance for the divorce of persons 
joined together in holy matrimony. 

2. Any Ordinance whereby any grant of 
land or money, or other donation or gratuity, 
may be made to himself. 

3. Any Ordinance whereby any increase or 
diminution may be made in the number, salary, 
or allowances of the public officers. 

4. Any Ordinance affecting the currency of 
the settlements or relating to the issue of bank- 

5. Any Ordinance establishing any banking 
association, or amendirig or altering the con- 
stitution, powers, or privileges of any banking 

6. Any Ordinance imposing differential 

7. Any Ordinance the provisions of which 
shall appear inconsistent with treaty obliga- 

8. Any Ordinance interfering with the dis- 
cipline or control of the Imperial forces by land 
or seai 

g. Any Ordinance of an extraordinary nature 
and importance, whereby the prerogative of 
the Crown, or the rights and property of 
British subjects not residing in the settlements, 
or the trade and shipping of the United 
Kingdom and its dependencies, may be pre- 

10. Any Ordinance whereby persons not of 
European birth or descent may be subjected or 
made liable to any disabilities or restrictions to 

which persons of European birth or descent are 
not also subjected or made liable. 

II. Any Ordinance containing provisions to 
which the assent of the Crown has been once 
refused, or which have been disallowed. 

Under the standing orders of the Council 
Bills are read three times, but in cases of emer- 
gency, or when no important amendment is 
proposed, a measure may be carried through 
all its stages at one sitting with the approval of 
a majority of the members present. All Ordi- 
nances are subject to the veto of the Home 

The law administered in the colony consists 
of local Ordinances passed by the Legislative 
Council and not disallowed by his Majesty, 
together with such Acts of the Imperial Parlia- 
ment and of the Legislative Council of India as 
are applicable, a Commission having decided 
which of the Indian Acts should continue in 
force in the colony. The Indian Penal Code 
and Code of Criminal Procedure have in the 
main been adopted and from time to time 
amended. The Civil Procedure Code is based 
on the English Judicature Acts. Peculiar to 
the locality are the anti-gambling laws, which 
are very stringent, as must necessarily be the 
case where a race so addicted to the vice as the 
Chinese is concerned ; the opium laws, under 
which the traffic in opium is " farmed out " to 
the highest bidder for a term of years, thus 
relieving the Government of the responsibility 
for preventive measures against smuggling and 
other incidental abuses ; and the Indian and 
Chinese immigration laws, by which are regu- 
lated the immense army of coolies who come 
to the colony every year en route, mostly, for 
the Federated Malay States and the Dutch 
islands of the archipelago. 

The courts for the administration of the civil 
and criminal law are the Supreme Court, the 
Court of Requests, Bench Courts (consisting of 
two magistrates), Coroners' Courts, Magis- 
trates' Courts, and the Licensing Court, con- 
sisting of Justices of the Peace. The Supreme 
Court consists ot a Chief Justice and three 
Puisne Judges. It sits in civil jurisdiction 
throughout the year ; and, as a small-cause 
court with jurisdiction up to 500 dollars, it 
holds a weekly session in Singapore and 
Pinang. Assizes are conducted every two 
months in Singapore and Pinang, and every 
quarter in Malacca, when civil work is also 
taken. The Supreme Court is also a Vice- 
Admiralty Court and the final appeal court 
of the colony. 

In the Courts of Requests a magistrate sits 
as Commissioner in causes for sums not exceed- 
ing 100 dollars. Magistrates' Courts hear and 
determine cases within their jurisdiction in a 
summary way. Justices of the Peace and 
Coroners are appointed by H.E. the Governor. 

The expenses of the Civil Establishment of 
Singapore when Sir Stamford Raffles left in 
1823 amounted to 3,500 dollars a month, the 
Resident drawing 1,400 dollars, the Assistant 
Resident 300 dollars, and the Master Attendant 
300 dollars. The present Governor receives 
^6,000 per annum ; the Colonial Secretary 
£1,700 ; the Resident Councillors of Pinang 
and Malacca 9,600 dollars and 7,800 dollars 
respectively ; and the Master Attendant £^%o. 

It may be mentioned in conclusion that the 
direct administraiion of Labuan by the Govern- 
ment of the Straits Settlements was only re- 
sumed on January 1, 1906, after having been in 
the hands of the British North Borneo Com- 
pany since 1890. Labuan was ceded to Great 
Britain by the SuUan of Brunei in 1846, and 
taken possession of in 1848. It is situated off 
the north-west coast of Borneo, from which it 
is distant about six miles, and has an area of 
30J square miles. It is the smallest British 
colony in Asia, the white population numbering 
only about forty or fifty. The island produces 
about 14,000 tons of coal annually. 




WHEN Great Britain obtained a footing 
on the Malay Peninsula by securing 
the territories of Malacca and Province Welles- 
ley, she came into violent contact with the 
neighbouring native States, which were then 
seething with turbulence and anarchy. It was 
not, however, until 1873 that the perpetual 
tribal quarrels became so acute as to call for 
the active interference of the Imperial Govern- 
ment. In that year the disturbed condition of 
the country was accentuated by troubles among 
the Chinese in the Larut district, who divided 
themselves into two camps and engaged in 
organised warfare. After much bloodshed the 
defeated party betook themselves to piracy, 
with the result that for a long time the coast 
was virtually in a state of blockade, and even 
the fishermen were afraid to put to sea. 

In this crisis, Lieutenant-General Sir Andrew 
Clarke, Governor of the Straits Settlements, 
arranged a meeting with the Perak chiefs with 
a view to settling definitely the disputed suc- 
cession to the Sultanate. He pointed out to 
them the evils of maladministration from which 
the State was suffering ; showed that tran- 
quillity, trade and development were the chief 
desiderations ; and held out prospects of peace 
and plenty under British protection in place of 
slrife and irregular revenues. The assistance 
of British advisers at Perak and Larut was 
offered and accepted on the understanding that 
the sovereign powers of the chiefs would not 
thereby be curtailed. A similar arrangement 
was also concluded with the Sultan of Selangor. 
Such great success attended the introduction of 
this new system that the example set by Perak 
and Selangor was followed a few years later by 
the adjoining State of Negri Sambilan, and in 
1888 by Pahang. 

Under this regime the affairs of each of the 
four States were independently administered 
on behalf of the Sultan by the British Resident 
and the usual staff of Government officials, act- 
ing under the direction of the Governor of the 
Straits Settlements. By a treaty signed in July, 
1895, the States were federated for administra- 
tive purposes, and a Resident-General was 
appointed with an official residence at Kuala 
Lumpor, which was chosen as the federal 
capital. The terms of the treaty stipulated 
that the native Rulers were " to follow the 
advice of the Resident-General in all matters 
of administration other than those touching the 
Mahomedan religion," and "to give to those 
States in the Federation which require it such 
assistance in men, money, or in other respects, 
as the British Government, through its duly 
appointed officers, may require." At the same 
time it was explicitly stated that the " obliga- 
tions of the Malay Rulers towards the British 
Residents " would not in any way be affected by 
this arrangement. 

Subject, therefore, to the direction of the 
Resident- General, who is subordinate to the 
High Commissioner, the administration of each 
of the four States proceeds upon nearly the 
same lines as were formerly followed. The 
supervision of finance, forests, mines, police, 
prisons, and railways is vested in the federal 
officials, but all other matters are dealt with in 
each State by the State Council, which consists 
of the Sultan (who presides), the British Resi- 
dent and his Secretary, the principal native 
chiefs, and one, or more, of the most influential 
European or Chinese residents. No measure 
can become law until it has been passed by the 
Council of the State to which it applies, but, 
when it is remembered that the proposed enact- 
ments often relate to technical subjects, such as 
electric Jighting and mechanical locomotion, 
of which the native mind has no previous know- 
ledge, it will readily be understood that the 

legislative powers of the Council are more 
apparent than real. Every member is entitled 
to raise any question with the approval of the 
president, and, of course, to offer any sugges- 
tion for the consideration of the Resident. A 
privilege highly valued by the native members 
of the Council is that of travelling free of charge 
over the railway system. 

In the raising of revenue and the expenditure 
of money the State Council has no voice. A 
separate account is kept for each State, and 
federal expenditure and revenue are appor- 
tioned on an equitable basis. Each of the 
States, except Pahang, has a large surplus, 
which is invested in Indian Rupee Paper, Tan- 
jong Pagar Dock shares, the municipal stock of 
the neighbouring colony, the Federated Malay 
States and Johore railway system, and in other 
sound securities that are from time to lime sug- 
gested by the High Commissioner, who is the 
Governor of the Straits Settlements. P'ixed 
allowances, varying in amount in each State, 
are guaranteed to the Sultans out of the public 
funds bj' the British Government. An annual 
sum is voted for the upkeep of a regiment of 
Malay States Guards, which, in the event of 
war breaking out between Great Britain and 
any other Power, may be requisitioned by the 
Governor for service in the Straits Settle- 

Each State is divided into districts, varying 
in size according to the'r industrial importance 
and population. These districts are presided 
over by district officers, who are directly 
responsible to the British Resident. Each 
district again is subdivided into Mukims or 
parishes, which are under the supervision of 
Malay officials styled Penghulus, who render 
assistance to the Land Office and act in the 
capacity of minor magistrates and go-betweens 
in matters of domestic dispute among natives. 
The Penghulus are generally relatives of the 
chiefs of the States in which they act, and 
they are appointed by the Sultan in Council, 
subject to the veto of the Resident. In the 
chief centres of population there are sanitary 
boards, composed of State officials and a 
nominated unofficial element. 

Originally the Resident was the head of the 
Judicial, as well as of the Administrative, 
Department in each State. But when the 
States were federated in i8g6 a Judicial 
Commissioner was appointed, and that change 
was accompanied by the admission of prac- 
titioners at the Bar, consisting of persons 
possessing legal qualifications recognised in 
the United Kingdom, of advocates and solici- 
tors in the Straits Settlements, and of persons 
who passed the prescribed local examination 
in law. 

Until the Courts Enactment of 1905 came 
into operation, the Judicial Commissioner tried 
only capital charges and appeals from the 
court of the senior magisti-ate in each State. 
The senior magistrate, who did not necessarily 
possess a legal diploma, was supposed to be a 
quasi-executive officer invested with extensive 
powers to review the actions and decisions of 
other magistrates. The office has now been 
abolished, and two additional Commissioners 
have been appointed, the Judicial Commis- 
sioner of former days being now styled the 
Chief Judicial Commissioner. He and one 
other Judicial Commissioner reside at Kuala 
Lumpor, and hold frequent assizes in the Negri 
Sambilan and Pahang. The third Judicial 
Commissioner resides at Ipoh, in Perak. 

The coiu't of a Judicial Commissioner exer- 
cises full jurisdiction in all civil and criminal 
matters, divorce only excepted, and hears 
appeals from the lower courts. In hearing 
appeals from the native courts a Judicial Com- 

missioner is required to summon to sit with 
him " one or more of the principal Mahome- 
dans of the State to aid him with advice." 
Attached to the court of a Judicial Com- 
missioner there is a Registrar, and, in some 
cases, a Deputy Registrar, who discharges 
duties ordinarily performed in England by a 
Master in Chambers, a Registrar of the 
Supreme Court, or a Clerk of a Criminal 

In all cases where the punishment of death 
is authorised by law the accused is tried with 
the aid of two assessors, selected from the 
most prominent members of the heterogeneous 
community. In the event of both assessors 
taking a different view from the judge, a new 
trial is ordered. Until the end of the last 
century the jury system was in vogue, but it 
was then discontinued owing to the difficulty 
of securing men to serve whose intelligence 
and integrity could be relied upon to do justice 
between the prisoner and the State. 

The Supreme Court of Appeal consists of 
two or more Judicial Commissioners. Death 
sentences, even when confirmed by this court, 
are reviewed by the Council of the State in 
which the capital charge was originally pre- 
ferred. In a civil action involving a sum of 
not less than £500, a final appeal may be made 
to his Britannic Majesty in Council. 

In all the principal centres in the States there 
are magisterial courts, and these are of two 
grades. A first-class magistrate is empowered to 
try cases the maximum penalty for which does 
not exceed three years' imprisonment. Until 
the end of 1905 he could try cases the penalty 
for which did not exceed seven years' imprison- 
ment. His maximum power of punishment, 
however, has been throughout limited to a 
sentence of one year's imprisonment or a fine 
not exceeding 500 dollars. Cases beyond his 
jurisdiction, or for which he deems his power 
of punishment inadequate, are committed to the 
Supreme Court. A first-class magistrate may 
hear and determine civil suits when the value 
in dispute does not exceed 500 dollars. A 
second-class magistrate is empowered to im- 
pose a sentence of three months' imprison- 
ment or a fine not exceeding 250 dollars, 
which sum is also the limit of his civil 

There are two native tribunals, called re- 
spectively the Court of a Kathi and the Court 
of a Penghulu. The first is an ecclesiastical 
court for the trial of minor Mahomedan 
causes. The second deals with petty offences 
or disputes. Each can inflict a fine up to 
10 dollars. 

The Bench of the Supreme Court of the 
Federated Malay States is becoming practi- 
cally identified with that of the Straits Settle- 
ments, for arrangements are now being made 
under which the Puisne Judges of the settle- 
ments and the Judicial Commissioners of the 
Federated States will be interchangeable. 

The general law of the States is codified in a 
large number of enactments. The Criminal 
Procedure Code is adapted from that of the 
Straits Settlements, while the Civil Procedure 
Code closely follows that of India, which was 
formerly accepted as law, so far as it was 
applicable, in most parts of the Federated 
Malay States. 


His Excellency Sir John Anderson, K.C.M.G., 
had had no previous governmental experience 
when he was appointed Governor of the Straits 
Settlements and High Commissioner of the 
Federated Malay States in 1904, at the com- 
paratively carh- age of forty-six. He had, how- 



ever, had a distinguished academic and official 

The only son of the late Mr. John Anderson, 
superintendent of the Gordon Mission, Aber- 
deen, Sir John was born at Gartly, Aberdeen- 
shire, In 1858. Before he was twenty he 
graduated M.A. at Aberdeen University, gain- 
ing a first-class in mathematics and being 
awarded the gold medal for the year. Two 
years later he entered the Colonial Office as a 
second-class clerk. In 1887 he was Bacon 
Scholar of Gray's Inn, and in the following 
year he was the Inns of Court student. He 
proceeded with Sir John F. Dickson in i8gi to 
Gibraltar, in order to inquire into matters 
connected with the Registry of the Supreme 
Court there. He was next appointed private 
secretary to Sir R. Meade, Permanent Under- 
Secretary of State for the Colonies, and in 
1892 he saw service on the staiif of the British 
Agent for the Behring Sea Arbitration, the 
proceedings taking him from London to Paris. 
This work occupied the greater part of 1892 
and 1893. At the end of seventeen years' 
service he attained first-class rank. From 1883 
to 1897 he edited the Colonial OfBce List, and 
in the latter year was appointed principal 
clerk. As secj-etary to the Conference be- 
tween Mr. Chamberlain and the Colonial 
Premiers in that year he had considerable 
opportunities of gaining an intimate know- 
ledge of the feelings of the self-governing 
colonies. For a second time he was des- 
patched to Gibraltar — on this occasion to 
inquire into the rates of pay of the Civil Service 
there. He was back in London in the same 
year (1899) and remained until in 1901 Mr. 
Chamberlain chose him as Colonial Office 
representative to accompany T.R.H. the Prince 
and Princess of Wales, then the Duke and 
Duchess of York, on their famous tour round 
the British Empire in the Ophir. It was 
during that trip that Sir John saw for the first 
time the colony over which he now presides. 
In 1902 he again acted as Secretary to the 
Colonial Conference, and in 1903 he received 
the thanks of the Canadian Government and 
the Confederation medal for services rendered 
in connection with the Alaska Boundary 
question and other matters. Sir John was 
decorated with the C.M.G. in 1898, and was 
advanced to a knight-commandership of the 
Order in igoi on the nomination of Mr. 
Chamberlain. Quite recently he accepted the 
honorary degree of LL.D. from his former 
alma mater. 

Sir John was appointed to the Governorship 
of the Straits Settlernents in succession to Su- 
Frank Swettenham on February i, 1904, and 
he arrived in Singapore to take up his duties 
on April 17th. He was accorded a most hearty 
reception, the whole town being decorated in 
his honour. After he had been sworn in in 
the Council Chamber, Dr. Middleton (Deputy 
President of the Municipality), Colonel Penne- 
father, and Choa Giang Thye handed his 
Excellency an address of welcome from the 
Municipal Commission. Next came a deputa- 
tion with an address from the Singapore 
Chamber of Commerce, and last, but not least 
in importance, a representative deputation 
(consisting of Mr. Tan Jiak Kim, Syed Mo- 
hammed Alsagoif, Mr. Tan Kiong Saik, and 
Mr. Tan Chay Yean) bearing an address from 
the native community in a handsome casket of 
wood and silver. In his reply to these ad- 
dresses the new Governor said the principle 
upon which the government of the colony was 
based was that the highest and best interests of 
the community as a whole were in the long 
run identical with the best interests of each 
section, and that no section should push its 
own exclusive claims without regard to those 
of other sections and the common good. He 
was glad that the various races inhabiting the 
colony recognised each other's good qualities 
and contributions to the common weal, and it 

was his earnest hope that, whatever mistakes 
he might make whilst among them, he might 
never unwittingly do anything to stir up 
divisions among them or in any way to accen- 
tuate racial feeling or antagonism. 

The success with which Sir John has con- 
trived to keep the balance even between all 
sections of the mixed population of the colony 
during the three years of his governorship 
shows how conscientiously and consistently he 
has kept before him the ideals which he set up 
for himself when entering upon his onerous 
duties. Events of the first importance to the 
colony have moved rapidly since 1904, and Sir 
John has not shrunk from taking his due share 
of responsibility for them. Among the most 
important issues that have been brought to a 
conclusion during his tenure of office are the 
fixing of the value of the Straits dollar, the 
Tanjong Pagar Dock Arbitration and Expro- 
priation, the opening of the railway to the 
docks, the taking over of Labuan from the 
Borneo Company, and the appointment of 
British Consuls to various places in Siam. 
Other matters rapidly nearing completion in- 
clude the codification of the shipping laws and 
the construction of a railway through the 
Johore territory, which will serve to open up 
and develop the Federated Malay States. 

In the discharge of his social duties Sir John 
has been materially assisted by his daughter. 
Miss Anderson. 

Mr. Oliver Marks, private secretary to 
H.E. the Governor, is a son of the late Mr. 
John George Marks, of Messrs. Misa & Sons, 
sherry shippers, London, and a nephew of the 
late Henry Stacey Marks, R.A., and of the late 
Frederick Walker, A.R.A. He was born on 
September 10, 1866, at Beddington, Surrey, 
and educated at \\''hitgift Grammar School, 
Croydon. In 1887 he went out to Ceylon as a 
planter, and in i8gi came to Singapore to take 
up the position of private secretary to the 


(Private Secretary to H.E. the Governor and Secretary 
to the High Commissioner.) 

Governor and secretary to the High Com- 
missioner of the Federated Malay States. He 
is a member of the M.C.C. and of the Sports 
Club, London ; of the Imperial Colonial Insti- 
tute, London ; and of- the Singapore clubs. 

His recreations are cricket, tennis, and golf. 
Mr. Marks married Violet Catherine, eldest 
daughter of the Hon. A. Murray, Colonial 
Engineer, in February, 1905, and has one son, 
Geoffrey Noel. 

Mr. Claud Severn, acting private secretary 
to H.E. the Governor, was born in London in 
1869, and at an early age went to Australia. 
He was educated at St. Peter's College, Adelaide, 
and at Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he 
graduated. During part of 1891 and 1892 he 
was employed in the Librarian's Department 
of the Foreign Office, and in 1894 was 
appointed private secretary to the then 
Governor of the Straits Settlements. In 
December of the following year he joined 
the Selangor Government service as junior 
officer, and in 1897 was promoted Assistant 
District Officer at Ulu Langat. After acting 
temporarily in a similar capacity at Klang and 
as Collector of Land Revenue, Kuala Lumpor, 
he became, in 1899, Assistant District Officer at 
Serendah. In August, 1903, he was given the 
position of Assistant Secretary to the Resident- 
General, but did not assume the duties until 
September, 1904, acting in the meantime as 
Magistrate and Registrar of Courts, Kuala 
Lumpor. During a portion of 1905 he acted 
as Federal Secretary, and he took Mr. Oliver 
Marks's place during the early part of 1906. 
Mr. Severn is a keen golf and tennis player 
and is a member of most local clubs. He did 
good service during 1903 as chairman of the 
committee which had charge of the arrange- 
ments for the Federal Conference held in that 

Captain H. H. F. Stockley, Aide-de-Camp 
to H.E. the Governor, was born on October 30, 
1878, and educated at Haileybury College. Re- 
ceiving his commission as a second lieutenant 
in the Royal Marine Light Infantry on January 
I, 1897, he was promoted lieutenant in the 
following year. He served on H.M.S. Niobe 
during the South African War (for which he 
received the South African medal with the 
Cape Colony clasp) and on the Ophir when 
the Duke and Duchess of York made their tour 
of the Empire. He received his company in 
1903 and was seconded to his present appoint- 
ment on March 24, 1904. Captain Stockley 
is a member of the Sports Club, London. 

Captain F. Hilton, of the Singapore 
Volunteer force, and Subadar Major Gurdit 
Singh, of the Malay States Guides, are extra 
Aides-de-Camp to H.E. the Governor. 


The Executive Council of the Straits Settle- 
ments is a consultative body called together as 
occasion demands by the Governor, who pre- 
sides over its deliberations. It is composed of 
eight principal officers of the Government. 

H.E. the General Officer Command- 
ing the Troops at Singapore is Major- 
General T. Perrott, C.B. By virtue of his 
office he ranks next to the Governor and is a 
member of the Executive and of the Legis- 
lative Council. Son of the late Mr. S. W. 
Perrott, of Fermoy House, County Cork, he 
was born in May, 1851, and was educated at 
Edinburgh Academy and the Royal Military 
Academy, Woolwich. After receiving his 
commission in the Royal Artillery in 1870, he 
served with the Field Artillery both at home 
and in India, and in 1880 was given his com- 
pany. From 1885 to 1891 he was Adjutant of 
the School of Gunnery and Assistant Superin- 
tendent of Experiments at Shoeburyness. He 
was promoted major in 1886, lieutenant- 
colonel in i8g6, and coloijel in 1900. During 
the South African campaign he was in com- 
mand of the Siege Train Division of the 
Royal Garrison Artillery with Lord Roberts. 
He was present at the Paardeburg, Poplar 


Hon. Dr. D. T. Galloway. 2. Hon. Mr. R. N. Bland. 3 Hon. Mr. A. T. Brvant. 4. Hon. Mr. A. Murray, C.E., M r.C.E. 5. Hon Mr John Trn\i.K 
6. Hon. Capt. A. H. Young, C.M.G. 7. H.E. the Governor, Sir John Anderson, K.C.M.G. (President). 8. H.E. the G.O.C, Major-Gex. T. Perrott, C B. 
y. Hon. Mr. W J. Napier, D.C.L. 10. Ho.v. Mk. Hugh Fort. ii. Hon. Mr. T. S. Baker. 12, Hon. Mr. W. Evans 13, Hon. Mr. Tan Jiak Kim. 

14. Hon. Mr. J. Anderson. 15. Hon. Mr. A. R. Adams. - 16. Hon. Me. E. C Hill. 



Grove, and Di-eifontein engagements, and was 
mentioned in despatches. For his services he 
received the Queen's medal witli four clasps. 
Major-General Perrott was also in command 
of the Siege Train Division in the China 
expedition of 1900. He was created a C.B. 
in 1901 ; was promoted Major-General in 
December, igo6 ; and has been G.O.C. at 
Singapore since March, 1907. 

The Colonial Secretary of the Straits 
Settlements is Captain Arthur Henderson 

Cyprus. For six months in 1895, and for lesser 
periods in i8g8, 1900, and 1904, he administered 
the government of Cyprus. In 1902 he went 
on a special mission to St. Vincent, West 
Indies. His present appointment dates from 
igo6. Captain Young has always been very 
fond of sport. For two years he was in the 
Rugby cricket eleven, and he played for Scot- 
land against England in the International 
Rugby football match at the Oval in 1874. 
He is a member of the Army and Navy Club, 

(Colonial Secretary, Straits Settlements.) 


Young, C.M.G. Born in 1854, he was edu- 
cated at Edinburgh Academy, Rugby, and 
Sandhurst. He joined the 27th Inniskillings 
as a sub-lieutenant, and entered the Colonial 
Service in 1878, his first appointment being 
that of Commandant of the Military Police of 
Cyprus. The next twenty-seven years he spent 
in that colony, holding successively the posi- 
tions of Assistant Commissioner at Paphos ; 
Commissioner, Paphos ; Commissioner, Faina- 
gusta ; Director of Survey and Forest Officer, 
and Chief Secretary to the Government of 

London ; the Xew Club, Edinburgh ; and the 
Singapore Club. His wife, whom he married 
in 1885, is a daughter of the late Marquis of 
Ailsa and sister of the present Marquis. 

The Resident Councillor of Pinang is 
the Hon. Mr. Robert Xcirman Bland, B.A. A 
son of Major-General Bland, R.E., he was 
born at Malta in 1859. He was educated at 
Cheltenham College and at Trinity College, 
Dublin, where he obtained the degree of B.A. 
in 1882. Mr. Bland has had a long and varied 
career in the Straits Settlements Civil Service. 

Arriving in the colony earl\- in 1883, he was 
attached to the Colonial Secretary's OfBce as a 
cadet learning Chinese, and in the following 
vear he also qualified in Malay. He has served 
as private secretary to the Acting Governor, 
Collector and Magistrate at Kuala Pilah in the 
Negri Sambilan, Assistant Resident Councillor 
at Pinang, Collector of Land Revenue at 
Pinang and Singapore, officer in charge of 
Sungei Ujong, Inspector of Prisons for the 
Straits Settlements, Colonial Treasurer and 
Collector of Stamp Duties, and Resident 
Councillor at Malacca. In 1887 he was en- 
gaged in reporting upon a system of Mukim 
boundaries in Pinang and Province Wellesley. 
He is ex-officio Chairman of the Pinang Com- 
mittee of the Tanjong Pagar Board, of the 
District Hospital, of the Library, and of the 
Gardens Committee, Pinang ; a trustee of St. 
George's Church and of St. George's Girls' 
School ; and president of the Free Schools 
Committee. Mr. Bland raised and commanded 
a company of volunteers in Malacca (1902-6).. 
He is a member of the Colonial Institute and 
of the Sports Club, London, and is enrolled 
either as a patron or member of all the local 
clubs. His recreations are golf and riding. 
He married, in 1895, Laura Emily, eldest 
daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Shelford, 
C.M.G., head of the firm of Paterson, Simons 
& Co., and for some twenty years member 
of the Legislative Council of the Straits Settle- 
ments. Mrs. Bland is a member of the Straits 
branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and of the 
Royal Anthropological Institute. She takes a 
keen interest in women's work amongst the 

The Resident Councillor of Malacca, 
the Hon. Mr. William Evans, was born on 
September 5, i860, and received his education 
at the Bradford Grammar School and King's 
College, Cambridge. He entered the Straits 
Settlements Civil Service as a cadet in 1882. 
In 1884 he went to Amoy to study Hokien,. 
and after passing his final examination in 
that language in the following year he Was 
attached to the Chinese Protectorate at Sin- 
gapore. Later, he became Acting Assistant 
Protector of Chinese at Singapore and at 
Pinang, and in 1893 was given the appoint- 
ment of Acting Protector of Chinese in the 
Straits Settlements (stationed at Pinang), in 
which office he was confirmed in 1895- 
He has passed the Government examination 
in Chinese (Cantonese) and Malay. For 
several years he was a Municipal Commis- 
missioner at Singapore, and was seconded as 
President in 1903. In the same year he was 
seconded for special service in the Transvaal, 
where he organised all the arrangements for 
the reception and management of the Chinese 
labourers enlisted for the Rand gold-mines, 
and was placed in charge of the Foreign 
Labour Department for fifteen months. He 
was appointed Treasurer and Collector of 
Stamp Duties in the Straits Settlements in 
1905 and Resident Councillor of Malacca in 

The Attorney=Qeneral, the Hon. Mr. 
W. J. Napier, D.C.L., was previously an 
unofficial member of the Legislative Council. 
He is a barrister-at-law, and until his Govern- 
ment appointment was the senior partner of 
the firm of Messrs. Drew & Napier, advocates 
and solicitors, Singapore. He lis <i member of 
the Singapore and several other local clubs. 

The Colonial Treasurer, the Hon. Mr. 
Alfred Thomas Bryant, B.A. Oxon., was born 
in October, i860, and entered the Straits Settle- 
ments Civil Service in 1883. After qualifying 
in the Malay tongue, he became first Acting 
Third Magistrate and then Acting Collector of 
Land Revenue at Pinang. He was appointed 
Acting District Officer of Province Wellesley 
South in 1889, and of the Dindings a few 
months later, being confirmed in the latter 
appointment in the following year. He passed 



his final examination in Tamil in 1892, and in 
1894 acted as Collector of Land Revenue and 
officer in charge of the Treasury at Malacca. 
For the ten years ending in 1905 he was Acting 
First Magistrate at Pinang, after which he was 
transferred in a similar capacity to Singapore. 
His present appointment dates from February, 

The Auditor=Qeneral, the Hon. Mr. 
Edward Charles Hepworth Hill, is the young- 
est son of the late Sir S. J. Hill, C.B., K.C.M.G., 
and was born on July 14, 1854. After being 
privately educated he was appointed a cadet in 
the Straits Settlements Civil Service in 1875. 
For a few months he was Acting Assistant- 
Treasurer at Malacca, and, after passing his 
final examination in Malay in 1877, he was 
successively .Acting-Inspector of Schools and 
Acting Deputy Collector of Land Revenue for 
Pinang and Province Wellesley. He served 
for two or three years in the Northern Settle- 
ment as Superintendent of Education and 
Acting Magistrate. In 1882 he was confirmed 
in the appointment of Inspector of Schools, 
and in 1895 he acted as Resident Councillor at 
Malacca. His present appointment dates from 
April, 1897. 

The Colonial Engineer and Surveyor- 
Qeneral, Colonel Murray, V.D., C.E. (Glasgow 
University), M.I.C.E., was born on January 13, 
1850, and educated at Hyde Abbey School, 
Wmchester. He entered the Ceylon Civil 
Service in 187 1 as Pioneer Officer, Public 
Works Department. In 1874 he was made 
Chief Assistant at headquarters, in 1876 was 
appointed Acting Irrigation Assistant, and in 
the following year became a member of the 
Commission to Inquire into the Colonial Store 
Department. In i885 he was given an appoint- 
ment as Provincial Engineer, and four years 
later was voted a bonus of five thousand rupees 
by the Legislative Council for the invention of 
cheap cement concrete sluices for irrigation 
purposes. In 1895 he was seconded for special 
service in the department of the Attorney- 
General, and two years later became Acting 
Director of Public Works and Assistant Director 
of Public Works respectively. He came to the 
Straits Settlements in 1898 as Colonial Engineer 
and Surveyor-General and Comptroller of Con- 
victs, being sent to Perak to report on the 
Krian irrigation scheme. During the same 
year he was made a member of the local joint 
Naval and Military Defence Committee, In 
1899 he was commissioned to inquire into the 
Public Works Department at Negri Sambilan, 
and in 1903 went on special duty to Ceylon, for 
which, in 1904, he received the thanks of the 
Secretary of State. As regards his volunteering 
career in Singapore, he was appointed Com- 
mandant of the local Volunteer Artillery in 
1899, Major and Commandant of the Singapore 
Volunteer Corps in 1900, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel in 1902. To him fell the honour of 
commanding the Straits Coronation contingent 
in London in 1902. Upon resigning his com- 
mand in 1905 he was appointed Colonel, with 
permission to retain the rank and wear the 
uniform of the corps. 


The Legislative Council of the Straits 
Settlements embraces all the members of 
the Executive Council and seven unofficial 
members, two of whom are recommended by 
the Chambers of Commerce of Singapore and 
Pinang, whilst the remaining five are nomi- 
nated by the Governor. The local Ordinances 
under which the colony is governed are made 
by this body. The Governor presides over the 
deliberations of the Council and can veto its 

The Hon. Mr. John Anderson was born 
in 1852 at Rothesay, Isle of Bute. He came to 

Singapore when only seven years of age, and 
was educated at Raffles Institution. He entered 
the Straits Civil Service, but retired in 1871 to 
embark upon a mercantile career, with the 
result that he is now co-proprietor and head of 
the firm of Guthrie & Co., Ltd., of Singapore, 
Pinang, London, and Fremantle (W.A.), He 
is a Justice of the Peace and Siamese Consul- 
General for Singapore. From 1886 to 1888 he 
occupied a seat on the Legislative Council, 
which he rejoined in 1905. He is a member 
of the Bath Club, London, and resides at 
"Ardmore," Singapore. 

The Hon. Mr. John Turner was born in 
Keith, Scotland, in 1854, and completed his 
education at Aberdeen University. In 1873 he 
emigrated to Demerara, where for sixteen 
years he was engaged in sugcfr planting. 
Previous to coming to Singapore in 1889 he 
spent a year studying the methods of sugar- 
planting in vogue in Brazil. At the present 
time he has charge of the Pinang Sugar Estates 
and of the various estates of the Straits Sugar 
Company, and is the adviser for other properties 
in Pinang and Province Wellesley. He is an 
authority on the immigration and treatment of 
native labour, which he has made the study of 
his life. He became a member of the Legisla- 
tive Council in 1902, and is now serving his 
second term of office as the senior representa- 
tive of the Pinang Chamber of Commerce. 
Mr. Turner is president of the Malay Peninsula 
Agricultural Association, the Perak Planters' 
Association, the Labour Bureau, and the St. 
Andrew's Association ; nor does this exhaust 
his activities, for he is also a member of the 
Immigration Commission, of the Pinang Com- 
mittee of the Tanjong Pagar Dock Board, of 
the Chamber of Commerce, and of the various 
local clubs. He was married in 1876 to K\1?l 
Russell, daughter of the late Rev. John Menzies, 
of Strathpeford, Scotland. 

The Hon. Mr. Hugh Fort, son of the 
late Mr. Richard Fort, who was at one time 
M.P. for Clitheroe, is a native of Lancashire. 
Born in 1862, he was educated first at Win- 
chester College and then at New College, 
Oxford. He was called to the English Bar in 
1887 and was admitted an advocate and solicitor 
of the Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements 
in 1893. 

Dr. David James Galloway, M.D., 
F.R.C.P., Edin., D.P.M.I., a member of the 
Legislative Council, was born in Edinburgh 
in 1858. He was educated at Daniel Stewart's 
College and at Edinburgh University, where 
he graduated M.B. in 1884 and M.D. (Gold 
Medallist) in 1900. He has practised in Singa- 
pore since 1S95. He is a member of the Johore 
and Singapore clubs and of all other local clubs. 
His principal recreations are fishing, motoring, 
and golfing. 

The Hon. Mr. Tan Jiak Kim.— A sketch 
of the career of the Chinese member of the 
Council appears in another section of this 

The Hon. Mr. T. S. Baiter, who was 
appointed to the Legislative Council in 
January, 1907, as the representative of the 
Singapore Chamber of Commerce to fill the 
vacancy caused by the absence from the colony 
of Mr. W. H. Shelford, is the manager of 
the Singapore branch of the Hongkong and 
Shanghai Banking Corporation, Ltd. He 
entered the service of that corporation in 
London in 1880, and came East three years 
later. He took up his present position at 
Singapore in igo6. Mr. Baker, who was 
born on March 19, 1858, was privately educated. 
He married first, in 1879, Mary Agnes, daughter 
of Alfred Tuck, of Ingatestone HaU, Essex, who 
died in 1885. His second wife is a daughter of 
Richard Speight, ex-chairman of the Victorian 
Railway Commission. Mr. Baker is a member 
of the London Society of Arts and of the Japan 
Society. During his residence in the Far East 
he has had conferred upon him the fourth- 

class Order of the Rising Sun and the thiid- 
class Order of the Sacred Treasure. He is a 
member of the Thatched House Club, London, 
the Yokohama United Club, and the Singapore 

The Hon. Mr. A. R. Adams.— Public 
opinion, expressed through the medium of the 
local press, regards Mr. Arthur Robert Adams 
as one of the most popular men in Pinang. 
The Pinang Chamber of Commerce elected 
him to the Legislative Council on the retire- 
ment of Mr. E. W. Presgrave at the latter end 
of 1907 in recognition of the deep and active 
interest which he exhibited in the welfare of the 
settlement. He was born on December 13, 1861, 
and attended Foster's School at Sherborne. He 
was articled in a solicitor's office in that historic 
town, and then went to London, where at the 
age of twenty-three he was admitted to practise 
as a sohcitor in the EngHsh Courts. In July, 
1887, he was enrolled as a member of the Straits 
Settlements Bar, and ten years later joined the 
Bar of the Federated Malay States. In the 
Tanjong Pagar Docks Arbitration, in 1905, Mr. 
Adams was engaged as counsel by the Govern- 
ment. He was. appointed captain and acting 
commandant of the Pinang Volunteers on the 
formation of the corps in 1899, and was con- 
firmed in the command in 1900, on the resig- 
nation of Captain J. Y. Kennedy. In 1902 he 
went home as second in command of the 
Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States 
Coronation contingent, and received the King's 
Coronation medal. Mr. Adams is a Fellow of 
the Royal Colonial Institute ; a prominent 
Mason (holding the degrees of P.D.G.W. of the 
Eastern Archipelago, P.M., 1893, and trustee 
of the Royal Prince of Wales Lodge, Pinang, 
No. 1555, and P.Z. Royal Jubilee Chapter, 
M.M.M.) ; president of the Pinang Association ; 
president of the Pinang Turf Club and Pinang 
Swimming Club ; past-president of the Pinang 
Cricket Club and Town Club ; a trustee of the 
Pinang Club and Pinang Golf Club ; past- 
president of the Pinang Bar committee ; 
chaplain's churchwarden and trustee of St. 
George's Church ; trustee of St. George's Girls' 
School, and a member of the Chamber of 
Commerce. Mr. Adams sat as a Municipal 
Commissioner between 1892-93, 1889-1900 
(elected), and 1900-6 (Government repre- 


Sir William Thomas Taylor, K.C.M.G., suc- 
ceeded Sir WiUiam H.Treacher, K.C.M.G., as 
Resident-General of the Federated Malay 
States on January 1, 1905, after having held 
the acting appointment for four months. Sir 
William Taylor, who was born in 1848, has had 
a long and varied official career. His first ap- 
pointment was that of Collector of Customs and 
Excise, Larnaka, Cyprus, in 1879. Three years 
later he became Chief Collector of Customs, 
and subsequently Receiver-General and Chief 
Collector of Customs and Excise. In 1895 he 
was transferred to Ceylon, where he held the 
position of Auditor-General and acted on four 
occasions as Colonial ' Secretary. In June, 
1901, he was appointed Colonial Secretary of 
the Straits Settlements, assuming the duties of 
that office in March of the following year. 
From October 13, 1903, till the middle of the 
following April he was Officer Administering 
the Government and Acting High Commis- 
sioner, Straits Settlements and Federated 
Malay States, and shortly after relinquishing 
these duties he acted as Resident-General for 
the Federation. He was confirmed in that 
appointment in January, 1905, and was made a 
Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael 
and St. George by his Britannic Majesty in 
recognition of his services. From March 3 
to June 7, 1906, he again undertook the duties 
of Officer Administering the Government and 



Acting High Commissioner, Straits Settlements 
and Federated Malay States, and then returned 
to those of Resident-General. Federated Malay 
States, until his departure on leave early in 
1907. Sir William, when in Kuala Lumpor, 
resides at " Carcosa." During his absence 
Mr. Edward Lewis Brockman, Federal Secre- 
tary, holds the acting appointment. 

Mr. E. L. Brockman. — On the retirement 
of Mr. A. R. Venning the post of Federal 
Secretary was bestowed on Mr. Edward Lewis 

eluded those "of District Officer, Bukit 
Mertajam ; Acting Collector of Land Revenue, 
Singapore ; Collector of Land Revenue and 
Officer in Charge of the Treasury, Malacca ; 
Senior District Officer, Province Wellesley ; 
Commissioner of the Court of Requests, Singa- 
pore ; Acting First Magistrate and Inspector 
of Prisons, Singapore ; and Acting Colonial 
Secretary during the absence of Sir W. T. 
Taylor. Mr. Brockman is acting as Resident- 
General and resides at " Carcosa." 



(Acting Resident General, Federated Malay States.) 

Brockman, formerly Assistant Colonial Secre- 
tary and Clerk of Councils, Straits Settlements. 
Mr. Brockman was appointed a cadet by the 
Secretary of State in 1886, and when he joined 
the Straits Settlements Civil Service he was 
attached to the Colonial Secretary's Office. 
His numerous subsequent appointments in- 

Mr. Ernest Charteris Holford Wolff, 

B.A. Oxon., was born in July, 1875, and 
entered the service of the Pahang Government 
in 1897. He became Secretary to the Resident 
of Negri Sambilan in igoi, and in 1904 acted, 
in addition, as chairman of the Sanitary Board, 
Seremban, In the following year he served as 

District Treasurer of Teluk Anson. In May, 
1906, he was appointed Acting Assistant 
Secretary to the Resident-General, and he is 
now acting as Secretary to the Resident- 
General. At the last annual prize meeting of 
the Selangor Golf Club, Mr. Wolff \vcm the 
championship, and subsequently carried off 
the "Coronation Cup." He resides in Kuala 


H.H. the Sultan.— The President of the 
Perak State Council is his Highness the Sul- 
tan, Raja Muda Idris Mersid-el-Aazam Shah, 
G.C.M.G., a son of Raja Almarhoum Iskandar 
Shah. He succeeded H.H. Raja Muda Yusuf, 
who occupied the throne for a brief period in 
1887, and was formally installed on April 5, 
1889. When in 1901 H.R.H. the Duke of Corn- 
wall and York visited Singapore, H.H. Sultan 
Idris was one of those upon whom the Duke 
conferred the honour of G.C.M.G. The SuUan 
is the most enlightened native ruler in the 
P'ederated Malay States. He is a Malay 
scholar, and is one of the strongest supporters 
of the cause of education in the country. Two 
visits to England, the last on the occasion of 
the King's Coronation, have helped to impress 
upon him the truth of the three-word jewel, 
" Knowledge is power," and he has shown 
practical proof of his sincere regard for the 
well-being of his subjects by the interest he 
has taken in the Malay Residential School — a 
school for the sons of rajas and native chiefs, 
to the success of which he has in no small 
degree contributed. One of his Highness's 
sons has been educated there. His Highness 
is of opinion that no boy should leave school 
until he has at least passed the seventh 
standard — a half-educated boy is worse than 
useless. His Highness is also president of the 
Committee for the Resuscitation of Malayan 
Art Industries. The eldest son of the Sultan is 
Raja Bendahara ; another son acts as A.D.C. to 
his Highness, whilst a third is Raja Alang 
Iskandar, now Assistant Commissioner of Police, 
Kuala Lumpor. His Highness, who resides at 
Kuala Kangsa, formerly occupied a palace built 
by the Government, but he has now had two 
palaces erected and lavishly furnished accord- 
ing to his own wishes. He is a keen sports- 
man and has several big-game reserves — one, 
situated at Ulu Plus, is the home of elephants, 
seladang, tiger, deer, and of innumerable smaller 
varieties of game. A wealthy man, owning 
considerable areas of mining land and house 
property, his Highness knows how to use his 
wealth freely and well, his benefactions being 
large and guided by sound principles. 

Mr. E. W. Birch, C.M.Q.— The seventh 
British Resident of Perak, Mr. Ernest Wood- 
ford Birch, C.M.G., is the eldest son of the first 
Resident, James Wheler Woodford Birch. He 
was born in Ceylon in April, 1857, and at ten 
years of age was sent to England to reside 
with his grandfather, the Rev. James W. Birch, 
Vicar of All Saints, Hertford. Educated 
successively at Hertford- Grammar School, 
Sidney College, Bath, Elstree School, and 
Harrow (Dr. Butler's house) until 1874, he then 
went to Oxford and read with a private tutor 
for twelve months with a view to entering the 
University and afterwards the Indian Civil 
Service. Both these schemes were frustrated 
by the murder of his father at Pasir Salak, in 
Perak, on November 2, 1875. In January, 
1876, he was graciously allowed by H.M.'s 
Government to enter the Colonial Office, 
Downing Street, and worked there until 1878, 
when he was appointed a cadet in the Civil 
Service of the Straits Settlements. His educa- 
tional qualifications were deemed high enough 
to allow him to receive this appointment with- 
out competition. Upon his arrival in Singapore 
he was given a position in the Secretariat under 
Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, G.C.M.G., who has 



recently been called of the Privy Council, and 
has always been a stavinch friend to Mr. Birch. 
His previous experience in the Colonial Office 
enabled Mr. Birch to be of special assistance in 
the Secretariat, and he acted as secretary of an 
important Commission on the Police Force, 
held about 1880. In 1881 he had charge of the 
Land Office at Malacca for a few months, but 
in July he was recalled to take up a similar 
appointment at Singapore. In May, 1882, he 
was given the position of Acting Second 
Assistant Colonial Secretary — an appointment 
in which he was confirmed in the following 
November, ten days after his marriage. He 
was sent on a visit of inspection to the Cocos 
Islands in 1885, and made the first official 
report on them. Upon his return from fur- 

revenue was greatly enhanced during his four 
years' stay in the teiTitory. Probably as a 
result of this success, Mr. Birch was in 1890 
requested by Sir William Maxwell to investigate 
the land system of the State of Hclangor, and 
he made two reports upon it. For eight 
months in 1892 he acted as British Resident of 
Selangor, and in January, 1893, he was ap- 
pointed Secretary to the Government of Perak. 
He was instrumental in introducing a new land 
and survey system into Perak and in urging 
forward the Krian irrigation scheme, the work 
of Mr. F. St. G. Caulfeild, I.S.O., Mr. J. Trump, 
and Mr. R. O. N. Anderson. It was completed 
in 1906, and has proved a brilliant success. In 
May, 1894, Mr, Birch was granted furlough 
leave, and he returned to duty in August, 1895. 

from the other chiefs, was recognised by 
them as the constitutional head of the Negri 
Sambilaii. He succeeded in inducing new 
capitalists, including Towkay Loke Yew, of 
Selangor, and Towkay Yau Tet Shin, of Perak, 
to assist in the developnjent of Negri Sambilan, 
and during his short administration the State's 
revenue grew from 552,000 to 1,085,000 dollars. 
A new land and survey system was introduced, 
and the public service was greatly strengthened. 
In recognition of his valued services, Mr. Birch, 
in 1900, had the honour of receiving from 
Queen Victoria, at Windsor, the decoration of a 
Companion of the Order of St. Michael and 
St. George. He became principal representa- 
tive of the British North Borneo Company and 
Governor of Labuan in 1901, and during the 


I. Raja Chulan bin ex-Sultan Abdullah. 2. Mr. R. J. Wilki.\-son (Secretary to the Resident). 3. Hon. Mr. E W. Birch, CM G (British Resident), 

4, Towkay Fog Choc Choon, 5. Mr, C, W, H, Cochrane (Assistant Secretary to the Resident, Clerk to the Council), 

6. H,H, The Sultan of Perak, Sir Idris Mersiu-el-Aazam Shah. G.CM.G, (President), 7, Towkay Leoxg Fee, 8 Towkay Chung Thye Phin, 

9. The Orang Kaya Kaya Sri Adika Raja Shahbandar Muda, Wan Muhambiad S.aleh, I,S,0, 10, Towkay Heah Swee Lee, 

lough, in 1887, he reverted to his appointment 
as Second Assistant Colonial Secretary, and he 
sat upon the Commission appointed to inquire 
into the circumstances leading to the murder- 
ous attack on Mr. W. A, Pickering, C.M.G,, the 
■then Protector of Chinese. The outrage was 
traced to the machinations of Chinese secret 
societies, and they were suppressed with a 
strong hand. In January, 1888, Mr. Birch was 
sent to Malacca in the dual capacity of Magis- 
trate and Collector of Land Revenue to carry out 
the land policy of the late Sir William Maxwell, 
K.C.M.G., and to establish the customary 
tenure. District offices were established under 
Mr. Birch at Alor Gajah and Jasin, and, in spite 
of much opposition, he succeeded, by means 
■of acquiring an intimate knowledge of the 
people, in establishing the new system, and the 

On the departure of Sir Frank Swettenham 
on leave, almost immediately afterwards, Mr. 
Birch was appointed to act as British Resident 
of Perak. He called the first meeting of the 
State Council, over which he presided, for 
November 2, 189S, the twentieth anniversary 
of his father's murder, and he reminded the 
Sultan and the chiefs assembled of the day and 
of the event. In June of the following year he 
reverted to his substantive appointment as 
Secretary to the Government, and in February, 
1897, he went to Negri Sambilan to act as 
British Resident in succession to the Hon. Mr, 
Martin Lister, Upon Mr, Lister's death he 
was confirmed in the appointment, and filled 
the office until May, 1900. He arranged the 
agreement by which the Yang-di-Pertuan of 
Sri Menanti, who had lon.g been estranged 

two years and eight months that he served in 
Borneo he worked arduously for the welfare of 
the country. He travelled over the whole terri- 
tory, introduced numerous settlers, built a new- 
town at Jessetton, and converted the country 
from laudessness to peace. He returned to 
England in December, 1903, and in Febi'uary, 
1904, was appointed British Resident of Perak, 
an office which he still holds. Mr. Birch mar- 
ried, in 1882, Margaret, eldest daughter of Mr. 
Lawrence Niven, then director of the Botanical 
Gardens, Singapore, They have had a familv 
of two sons and four daughters, but in 1890 
they had the inexpi-essible sorrow of losing 
their eldest son by drowning at Tanjong Kling, 
Malacca, when he was only seven years of age. 
Their other son, Patrick, is now reading in 
London for the Indian Civil Service, while 



their eldest daughter assists her mother in 
doing the honours of the Residency at Taiping. 
Mr. Birch has always been a keen sportsman. 
Upon the day of his arrival in Singapore he 
was asked to consider himself an honorary life 
member of the Singapore Cricket Club, a com- 
pliment that was paid in recognition of his 
father's services to the institution. He served 
on the committee of the club during most of 
the time that he was in Singapore, and for ten 
years he was a member of the cricket XI., 
captaining the team in most matches. He 
visited Hongkong as one of Mr. F. V. Hornby's 
XI., and captained the Straits XI. which 
defeated both the Ceylon and Hongkong teams 
at the Singapore Carnival in 1890-91. In the 
Federated Malay States he has continued to 
follow the game, and he is captain of the Perak 
XI. Formerly he was a devotee of tennis, 
and retained the first championship cup after 
winning it four times in succession at Singa- 
pore. When a light-weight he " coxed " many 
" fours " for Singapore regattas, and he has 
several cups to remind him of his rowing days. 
The quaintest race was when he "coxed" a 
•' four " against eight Malay women paddling 
in the Straits of Johore for prizes presented by 
the late Sultan of Johore, who was a delighted 
spectator. For many years he was secretary of 
the Singapore Turf Club, and was presented 
with a gold watch and chain on his twenty- 
eighth birthday in recognition of his services 
in that capacity. He is now president of 
the Perak Turf Club and of the Ipoh Golf 
Club, and is a member of the committee 
of the Straits Racing Association. He is 
fond of shooting, but though of late he has 
not been able to devote much time to it, he 
had an unusual experience with the gun in 
1893, when he and Mr. Frederick Weld made 
what is believed to be a record snipe bag for 
two guns by bagging 190J couple at Krian. 
Lately Mr. Birch has taken to motoring, and 
he was elected first president of Ihe Perak 
Motor Union. His wife is president of the 
Perak Ladies' Rifle Club and of the local 
branch of the Church Work Association. She 
shares in the fullest degree her husband's 
popularity. At the recent Ladies' " Bisley " at 
Taiping, Miss Birch, a novice with the rifle, 
won a cup at the 100 yards range by making 
33 out of a possible 35, with a score of five 
bulls and two inners. 

Mr. R. J. Wilkinson, Acting Secretary 
to the Resident of Perak, is cx-officio a mem- 
ber of the State Council. A brief biography 
of Mr. Wilkinson will be found under the 
article contributed by him on " Malay Litera- 

The Raja Aluda.— The office of Raja Muda 
remains vacant. 

The Raja Bendahara is Raja Abdul Jalil, 
the eldest son of H.H. the Sultan of Perak. 
He is heir presumptive to the throne, in the 
event of the office of Raja Muda not being 
filled. He resides at Kuala Kangsa. 

Raja Chilian, the second son of H.H. 
Sultan Abdullah (formerly Ruler of Perak), 
was born in 1869 at Tanjong Brombang, near 
the mouth of the Krian river. He was 
educated at the Raffles Institution, Singapore, 
and at the High School, Malacca. Returning 
to Perak in i8»6, he was attached to the Secre- 
tariat at Kuala Kangsa. In 1889 he visited his 
father at Mahe, in the Seychelles Islands, and 
travelled also through Mauritius and Bourbon. 
Upon his return to Perak in i8go he became 
Settlement Officer at Batu Kuran, Larut. He 
was transferred to Parit Buntar, Krian, in 1894, 
and afterwards to Kinta ; in 1896 he became 
Acting Collector of Land Revenue at Kuala 
Kangsa, and subsequently Acting District 
Officer at Selama, in the Matang District. At 
Singapore, in 1901, he had the honour of being 
presented to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, and 
in 1902 he accompanied H.H. the Sultan of 
Perak to England to attend the Coronation, 

receiving the Coronation medal. On his re- 
turn in the same year he was appointed 
District Officer in Upper Perak ; in 1905, on 
account of his intimate acquaintance with the 
people of that State, he was made Assistant 
District Officer in Krian. He is now respon- 
sible for the local administration of a district 
extending over 240 square miles, with a popu- 
lation of 51,000. In 1906 he accompanied the 
late Raja Muda of Perak to Singapore to meet 
H.R.H. Prince Arthur of Connaught. Raja 
Chulan is a Visitor to the Prison and Hospital, 
Vice-Chairman of the Krian Sanitary Board, a 
member of all Perak clubs, and vice-president 
of Krian Club. In 1900 he married Raja 
Puteh Kamariah, eldest daughter of Raja Per- 
maisuri, wife of H.H. the Sultan of Perak. He 
has one son, Raja Zaimul Aznam Shah. His 
official residence is at Parit Buntar. 

The Raja Ngah Abubakar is a son-in- 
law of the Sultan, and in addition to being a 
member of the State Council acts as Malay 
Magistrate for the Lenggong District. 

The Orang Kaya Mentri Paduka Tuan, 
Wan Muhammad Isa bin Ibrahim, was born 
in 1866, and in i8go was appointed Penghulu 
of Bukit Gantang. He became Orang Kaya 
Mentri and member of the State Council in 
1896, and three years later was appointed 
Superintendent of Penghulus at Larut. In 
1892 he acted as Officer in Charge of Selama, 
and in the following year became Malay 
Magistrate of that district. 

The Orang Kaya Kaya Sri Adika Raja, 
Wan Muhammad Saleh, I.S.O., born in 1861, 
entered the service of the Perak Government 
at the age of twenty as a Malay writer. In 
1892 he was made Orang Kaya Kaya Adika 
Raja. He was for a time Superintendent of 
Penghulus in the Ulu Kuala Kangsa District, 
and towards the end of 1902 he was appointed 
Assistant Collector of Land Revenue. Kuala 
Kangsa. He is a member of the Committee 
for the Resuscitation of Malayan Art Indus- 
tries and has a seat on the Kuala Kangsa 
Sanitary Board. 

The Orang Kaya Kaya Laksamana, 
Inche Hussein, another member of the State 
Council, represents the Malays of the Teluk 
Anson and Ipoh districts. 

The Orang Kaya Kaya Stia Bijava di 
Raja, Juragan Abdul Shukor, who resides at 
Kuala Kangsa, is at present the Malay Secre- 
tary to H.H. the Sultan. In addition to occu- 
pying a seat on the State Council he is a 
member of the Kuala Kangsa Sanitary Board. 

The Dato' Panglima Besar is Haji Abdul 
Raof , who lives at Kuala Kangsa. 

F. D. Osborne. — Mr. F. Douglas Osborne 
is a member of the well-known firm of Osborne 
& Chappel, of Ipoh, and a reference to his 
career will be found in our Mining section. 

Mr. Chung Thye Phin commenced his 
public career at an early age, and is one of 
the best known residents of the Chinese com- 
munity of the Federated Malay States and 
Pinang. Although quite a young man, Mr. 
Thye Phin is a member of the Perak State 
Council. He was born twenty-eight years ago 
at Taiping, where his father, the late Captain 
Chung Keng Kwi, the multi-millionaire, had 
extensive mining interests. He is the fourth 
son of a family of ten and was educated at St. 
Xavier's College, Pinang. Having completed 
his education, he was initiated into his father's 
business, and had just attained his majority 
when he was appointed a member of the Perak 
State Council, on which he has been of great 
service. Apart from this public appointment 
he devotes much time to the public service in a 
general way, taking an active interest in all 
movements that conduce to communal welfare 
and advancement. Mr, Chung Thye Phin is 
owner of a large number of tin mines, includ- 
ing a deep-shaft mine at Tronoh, adjoining the 
famous mine of the same name, and the hy- 
draulic mine at Batu Tugoh. Hi.s open-cast 

mines are worked on the most modern system, 
and to him belongs the credit of being one of 
the first Chinese miners to introduce up-to-date 
appliances on the mines, under supervision of a 
European engineer. He has large interests in 
some of the Government monopolies. Mr. 
Thye Phin is an enthusiastic sportsman and 
hab more than once won the blue ribbon of the 
Straits turf, besides many lesser events. In 
recent times he has taken to motoring, and 
had the honour to drive T.R.H. the Duke and 
Duchess of Connaught and Princess Patricia in 
his car on the occasion of their recent visit to 
Pinang. He is also a good billiard player. 
Despite his many business concerns, Mr. Chung 
Thye Phin evinces a lively interest in various 
philanthropic works, foreign famine funds and 
local charities equally benefiting from time to 
time from his liberality. 

Mr. Leong Fee, the Chinese Vice-Consul 
at Pinang, is a member of the Perak State 
Council. Born and educated in China, he left 
his native land about thirty-two years ago and 
came to Pinang, where he remained only six 
months, migrating then to Ipoh in Perak. At 
that time there were about sixteen compatriots 
in the place, and the town itself consisted of a 
few attap houses. No proper roads existed, 
and stations were situated in the midst of a 
dense jungle, provisions being very difficult to 
obtain. Ipoh, at that time, could be reached 
only by river through Teluk Anson, a seaport. 
The river to this day is shallow and unnavi- 
gable. Leong Fee started life as a clerk, and 
later opened a small kedai. After a year in 
business, he turned his attention to tin mining, 
working at Ampang on a small scale and 
obtaining good returns. Subsequently, in con- 
junction with Mr. F. J. W. Dykes, he applied to 
the Government of Perak for a concession of 
land at Tambun for coffee cultivation. The 
venture, however, did not succeed. When Mr. 
Dykes entered the Government service, Mr. 
Leong Fee purchased that gentleman's moiety 
of the property, and, abandoning the coffee 
project, prospected the land for tin. The results 
obtained were beyond expectations. The pro- 
perty, known as the Tambun Mine, comprises 
some of the richest land in the State, and from 
it Mr. Leong Fee has derived the immense 
fortune of which he is the happy possessor. 
-At first the land was worked on the Chinese 
shaft system, but now it is operated in the open- 
face style with modern machinery. Mr. H. F. 
Nutter is the manager, and to-day the owners 
of the Tambun Mine are Mr. Leong Fee 
and his father-in-law, Mr. Cheah Choon 
Sen. There are two CItiinese under-managers 
— Messrs. Lim Cheng Chew and Geam Sam 
Thean. The machinery is controlled by a 
European engineer. Mr. Leong Fee was made 
a member of the Perak Council in 1895 and 
Chinese Vice-Consul for Pinang in 1902. 
Whilst in England in igoi he was elected a 
member of the Society for the Encouragement 
of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce. He 
owns many houses and gardens in Perak and 
Pinang, and also many smaller mines. His 
two large and beautiful residences in Pinang, 
where he resides with his family, are built in 
the latest European style, as shown in the 
photograph which we reproduce elsewhere. 

Mr. Foo Choo Choon, proprietor of the 
Tronoh Mines and a member of the Perak 
State Council, has had a remarkable career. 
He is a scion of an ancient family, whose 
ancestral home is in Choong Hang, Eng Teng, 
Hokien, near Kwantung. His grandfather 
emigrated to Pinang many years ago and was one 
of the pioneers of the northern settlement. His 
father was born in Pinang, but spent most of 
his life in China. Mr. Foo Choo Choon was 
born on July 30, i860, and at the age of thir- 
teen came to Pinang to be educated. After- 
wards he entered the employment of an uncle 
who had extensive mining rights at Taiping, 
and a few years later commenced business on 



his own account. Subsequently tie removed 
to Kinta, and settling down at Lahat, was soon 
employing several thousand workmen. Ill- 
health necessitated a visit to China, and on 
returning to the Federated Malay States he 
became connected with the Tronoh Mines 
owing to the owners abandoning their work- 
ings. He visited and examined the place 
thoroughly, and subsequently obtained a sub- 
lease of the land, upon which he decided to 
install extensive modern plant. Although this 
decision was not entertained favourably in 
many quarters, the results achieved have since 
testified to the wisdom of the proprietor. Mr. 
Foo Choo Choon's acquisition of wealth has 
been accompanied by many philanthropic acts. 
On returning to China, during a famine, he 
built and supplied several public granaries, 
established schools in his native district, and 
directed that the revenue from his property 
there should be utilised in assisting the poorer 
scholars. His generosity during the Shantung 
famine was the means of bringing him to the 
notice of the Chinese Government, and he 
received the honorary title of magistrate, with 
the additional privilege of wearing peacock 
feathers. Further acts of generosity raised 
him to the rank of Taotai, and, finally, to that 
of Commissioner of the Salt Revenue. In the 
Federated Malay States he has been recognised 
always as one of the most advanced Chinese in 
educational reform, and towards the movement 
he has contributed largely by instituting and 
maintaining many Chinese and English schools. 
Mr. Foo Choo Choon is a naturalised British 
subject, and is a Fellow of the Society of Arts of 
England. In addition to the Tronoh Mines, he 
is proprietor of the Selangor, Sungei Besi and 
other mines, is a director of the Kledang Mines, 
Ltd., of the Ipoh Foundry, Ltd., and of the 
Tanglin Rubber Syndicate, besides owning 
several estates. He employs some 10,000 
coolies. He has always identified himself with 
public afliairs in the Federated Malay States. 
He is president for the Straits Settlements and 
Federated Malay States of the Chinese Board 
of Education ; of the Perak Mining and Plant- 
ing Association, Kinta ; of the Pinang Anti- 
Opium Society ; and of the Chinese Widows 
and Orphans' Institution, Ipoh. Mr. Foo Choo 
Choon is also a member of the State Council of 
Perak and of the Chinese Advisory Board for 
that State. He founded the Perak Mining and 
Planting Association, the Chinese Maternity 
Hospital and the Chinese Girls' School at Ipoh, 
and the Mandarin School at Lahat. He is a 
member of the committee of King Edward 
VII. School, Taiping, and is a patron of the 
Perak Anti-Opium Society. In igo6 H.I.M. 
the Emperor of China, by special command, 
ordered the ex- Viceroy Shum of Canton to con- 
fer on Mr. Foo Choo Choon the Order of Merit 
for his services to his country, and this decora- 
tion, together with a gold medal, was sent from 
China and presented by a special envoy. Mr. 
Cheah Cheang Lim, his cousin, is Mr. Foo 
Choo Choon's attorney, and, since 1894, has 
managed his business affairs in the native 

Mr. Heah Swee Lee, member of the 
Perak State Council, is the owner of the Jin 
Heng rubber estate, in the Krian district. 

Mr. Charles 'VV. H. Cochrane, Acting 
Assistant Secretary to the British Resident of 
Perak, is c^-officio Clerk to the State Council. 
He came to Malaya as a cadet in 1899, and 
fifteen months later was Acting Assistant 
Secretary to the Resident-General. The fourth 
son of the Rev. David Cochrane, of Etwall 
Lodge, Derbyshire, he was born in 1876 at 
Barrow-on-Trent, and educated at Repton 
School and at Merton College, Oxford, where 
in 1899 he graduated B.A. In September, 
1904, he went to Kuala Kangsa as Acting 
Assistant District Officer, and on his return 
from long leave in June, 1907, took up his 
present appointment. Mr. Cochrane played 

football and cricket for his school and college, 
and now devotes himself to cricket, golf, and 
other games. He is a member of the Sports 
Club and the Cigar Club. 


H.H. the Sultan.— The President of the 
Selangor State Council is his Highness Alia 
Idin Suleiman Shah, C.M.G., the Sultan of 
Selangor. A son of the late Raja Muda Musa, 
he was born on September 30, 1864. He 
succeeded his grandfather, the late Sultan, 
H.H. Sir Abdul Samad, K.C.M.G., and came 
to the throne on February 17, 1898. He was 
installed as Sultan in November, 1903. He was 
educated in Malay, and is a man of enlighten- 
ment. He married his cousin, H.H. Tengku 
Mahrom, daughter of H.H. Tengku Udin, and 
by her had two sons, Tengku Musa and Tengku 
Bahdur Shah, who are now being educated at 
the Victoria Institute, Kuala Lumpor. The 
Sultan has a palace in Klang, provided by the 
Government, but prefers to dwell in a private 
house. His Highness's staff consists of — Secre- 
tary, Inche .A.bdul Razak bin Haji Abdul Gani ; 
Penggawa, Haji Ahmad bin Baba ; Maharaja 
Hela, Haji Abdul Gani ; Shah Bandar, Haji 
Ali ; Bantara Kiri, Mohamed Amin bin Wan 
Mohamed Syed : and Bentara Kanan, Soloh 
bin Wan Mohamed Syed. 

The British Resident. —\\'hen Mr. H. 
Conway Belfield, the British Resident of 
Selangor, came to the Malay Slates in 1884, 
Kuala Lumpor was mostly dense jungle, with a 
brick house in the vicinity, attap buildings for 
Government offices and courts, with a Chinese 
vegetable garden on the site of the existing 
cricket ground, and a town composed of a few 
Chinese houses. The Acting British Resident 
then was Mr. (now Sir) J. Rodger, the present 
Governor of the Gold Coast, and Sir Frank 
Swettenham the Acting Resident of Perak. 

Mr. Belfield is the head of an old Devonshire 
family, and was educated at Rugby and at 
Oxford. He trained for the Bar, and in 1877 
he passed his final examination and entered 
the Inner Temple. His first appointments on 
coming East were to the magisterial bench at 
Kuala Lumpor and to the collectorship of 
land revenue in the same town, and Inspector 
of Schools for the whole State. In addition to 
these duties he also acted as Chief Magistrate 
and Judge of the High Court for the whole of 
Selangor, and also Commissioner of Lands. 
After six years' continuous residence in the 
State he returned to England on leave, and on 
returning to the native States he was appointed 
Senior Magistrate, Perak. This was in i8gi, 
and he held the position until the four States 
were federated in 1896, when he was appointed 
to the Federal office of Commissioner of Lands 
and Mines. In the same year he became Chief 
Examiner in the Malay language, and in 1897 
filled the position of Acting British Resident, 
Selangor. He occupied this post intermittently 
for different periods til! April, 1901, when he 
received the appointment of British Resident of 
Negri Sambilan. Owing to his services being 
required continually in Selangor, however, he 
never assumed the duties. He was given his 
present appointment whilst he was in England 
on leave in 1902. Mr. Belfield visited Borneo 
on a special mission for Government in 1905. 
He has travelled extensively in the native 
States, is the author of an excellent publication 
on the country, and an authority on Malay 
matters. He is a landowner and Justice of the 
Peace in Devonshire, a keen all-round sports- 
man, though unattracted by golf, and a member 
of the Junior Carlton, Ranelagh, and Royal 
Automobile Clubs. 

Mr. Robert Campbell Grey, Secretary to 
the Resident of Selangor, is at present acting as 
British Resident of the Negri Sambilan. He 
entered the service of the State of Perak in 

1888 as a junior officer, and a year later was 
appointed Assistant Magistrate of Kinta. After 
having held other Government posts, he became, 
in 1895, Assistant Secretary to the Government 
of that State. In 1897 he was appointed 
District Officer at Ulu Selangor, being subse- 
quently transferred in the same capacity to 
Kuala Kaupar in Perak. In 1902 Mr. Grey 
acted as District Officer of Kinta, the chief 
mining district of the Federated Malay States, 
and in 1903 he was appointed Secretary to the 
Resident of Selangor. Mr. Grey acted as Secre- 
tary to the Resident of Perak in 1904, and for 
a short time carried out the duties of British 
Resident in addition to those of Secretary. After 
having occupied his substantive post in Selangor 
for some eighteen months, Mr. Grey was, in 
November, igo6, appointed to act as British 
Resident of the Negri Sambilan. 

The Raja Muda, Raja Laut bin Sultan 
Muhammed, son of the late Sultan Muhammed, 
was at one time Penghulu of Kuala Lumpor 
and a member of the Kuala Lumpor Sanitary 
Board. He was made Raja Muda of Selangor 
in 1903, and also a member of the State 
Council. He resides in the capital, and is 
greatly interested in the Malay agricultural 
settlement there, being chairman of the com- 
mittee of management. 

Raja Haji Bot, another member of the 
State Council, is a son of Raja Jamaat, ruler of 
Lukot, and resides at Klang. 

Raja Hassan. — Raja Hassan, a son of Raja 
Abdullah, was born in Klang, and is the Peng- 
hulu of the district. He is a member of the 
Klang Sanitary Board and lakes great interest 
in public matters. 

Saiyid Mashhor bin Saiyid Muhammad, 
another member of the Council, resides at Klang. 

Mr. Qeorge Camming, of Kuala Lumpor, 
is one of the best known and most popular 
residents of Selangor. He came out to the 
Federated Malay States in 1888, and his first 
appointment was on Messrs. Hill & Rath- 
borne's coffee plantation in the Negri Sambilan, 
one of the pioneer plantations in the States. 
Four years later he entered the service of the 
Straits Trading Company in Kuala Lumpor, and 
after remaining with them for four years he 
commenced mining on his own account. At 
present he owns two mines — one at Salak 
South, near Sungei Besi, and the other at 
Rawang. During the two years the former 
mine has been worked considerable develop- 
ments have been effected and excellent results 
obtained. With 300 coolies employed, together 
with a small hauling plant, the mine has been 
proved to a depth of 140 feet ; but now that it 
has turned out to be so extensive additional 
capital is required, and Mr. Gumming intends 
to float the concern as a limited liability com- 
pany with a view to developing it on a large 
scale. Up-to-date plant will then be introduced, 
and the opinion is expressed by experts that 
the mine will prove to be one of the richest in 
that part of the country. About four years ago 
Mr. Gumming was appointed to the Selangor 
Council of State, being the first European 
unofficial member to sit on that body. He is 
also president of the Miners' Association. A 
keen sportsman and the owner of several race- 
horses, he was one of the founders of the Turf 
Club, of which he is now vice-president. 

Mr. Chan Sow Lin. -One of the pioneers 
among the Chinese community in the State of 
Selangor is Mr. Chan Sow Lin, a gentleman of 
good birth, who, after being brought up in 
China, came to the Malay States to seek his 
fortune in the early -days of this country's 
development. He arrived at Taiping, Perak, 
m the year 1867, and entered the service of 
Mr. Low Sam, the headman of Larut 
district. At the end of a year he transferred 
his services to Assam Kubang and was ap- 
pointed overseer of the tin mines. A year 
later he was recalled by his former employer 
to act as overseer of his mines and take charge 



of his various mining interests. He is the 
founder of the Xai Chiang system, which 
has been extensively adopted by other miners. 
When the Si Yap and Chung Loong peoples 
were waging war with each other, Mr. Chan 
Sow Lin took up arms, and at one time, when 
carrying a banner and leading liis men, he 
was seriously wounded and carried to Pinang. 
After Captain Speedy and the Chinese Pro- 

was warmly thanked. In the various engage- 
ments at which Mr. Chan was present he 
showed himself a man of courage and deter- 
mination. After peace had been established 
by the intervention of the British, Mr. Chan 
rejoined Mr. Low Sara, but a year later he 
resigned and started mining on his own 
account. At this time Mr. Chan had among 
his many friends Mr. Loke Yew, then a rising 

(The Yang-di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sambilan.J 

lector from Singapore had established peace, 
the belligerents prepared for war again, 
and Mr. Chan arranged a dinner with the 
object of bringing them to friendly terms. He 
went personally to invite the opposing army, 
but they refused to accept for fear that it was a 
stratagem to entrap them. Mr. Chan there- 
upon gave himself up as a hostage, and the 
opposing forces took dinner together and 
became friends. For this service Mr. Chan 

man and to-day the most successful miner of 
the Malay States, and with this gentleman he 
was a partner in the General Farm for six 
years. -At the end of that time Mr. Loke Yew 
and himself moved to Kuala Lumpor, where 
both are now resident, and took charge of the 
General Farm there. They also engaged in 
mining in Selangor and were very successful 
in their enterprises. In 1893 Mr. Chan, carry- 
ing on business under the chop "Tan Kee," 

leased mining lands at Mukim Serdang and 
Sungei Besi from Towkay Loke Yew, and has 
since been mining these lands for himself. 
The mines are profitable, and are worked to a 
depth of 100 feet with up-to-date machinery. 
It is said that work will be continued to a depth 
of 300 feet, where investigations by boring 
have revealed a thick stratum of tin ores. Mr. 
Chan leases from the Government mining 
lands in the Simpah, Sungei Puteh, Kuala 
Kubu, Setapak, Kepong, and Petaling districts, 
working some of the mines himself and leasing 
the remainder to other miners. Amongst his 
various undertakings Mr. Chan Sow Lin 
founded the engineering firm of Chan Sow Lin 
& Co., Ltd., known as Chop Mee Lee, at present 
carrying on business at Kuala Lumpor, and of 
which he is managing director. This establish- 
ment is remarkable for the fact that none but 
Chinese engineers and workmen are employed, 
the work they do comparing favourably with 
that turned out by any similar European estab- 
lishment. As will be seen from photographs 
which we reproduce, the works are extensive 
and well equipped. In 1906 the Emperor of 
China instructed the Viceroy of Canton to send 
a Special Commissioner on Education to the 
Federated Malay States. This dignitary visited 
all the engineering firms as well as the mines, 
and when writing his report to the Viceroy of 
Canton he highly commended Mr. Chan Sow 
Lin for his enterprise in opening up such a 
large engineering establishment, and passed 
eulogistic remarks on the manner in which his 
mines were worked. In recognition of Mr. 
Chan's ability, the Viceroy sent him a special 
decoration in the shape of a medal. Another 
medal was given to Mr. Chan by his Excel- 
lency Wong, Ambassador to England, for 
charitable and other public work on behalf of 
the Chinese. In the year 1902 Mr. Chan was 
appointed as Chinese Member of the Selangor 
State Council. He is also chairman of the 
Selangor Anti-Opium Society, vice-president of 
the Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce, 
chairman of the Selangor Chuan Hoong 
Chinese School, one of the trustees of the 
Victoria Institution, and a member of the 
Visiting Committee of the Selangor Gaol, the 
Lunatic Asylum, and the General Hospital. 

Mr. A. S. Jelf.— The Assistant Secretary 
to the Resident of Selangor is Mr. Arthur 
Selborne Jelf, who was born in 1876 and 
graduated B.A. at Oxford University. He 
entered the Federated Malay States Govern- 
ment Service as a cadet in 1899, and became a 
passed cadet in 1902. After acting as District 
Officer at Kuala Langat he received his present 
appointment in 1905, and acts as Clerk to the 
State Council by virtue of his office. 


His Highness Tunku Muhamad, C.M.G., 
bin al Merhom Tunku Antah, is the Yang-di- 
Pertuan Besar of Negri Sambilan and the 
hereditary suzerain of the confederation of 
Negri Sambilan (Nine States). He lives in 
the ancestral home at Sri Menanti, near Kuala 
Pilah, and succeeded to his present position 
when quite young. He cannot interfere in 
the internal affairs of the separate States with- 
out being requested to do so by the Undang 
(Lawgivers), the chiefs of the States. 

Mr. Douglas Qraliam Campbell, the 
British Resident of Negri Sambilan, was born 
in 1866, and in early life joined the service of 
the Selangor Government as a second surveyor 
in the Public Works Department. In 1885 he 
passed into the Land Office, and from thence 
was transferred to Rawang as Assistant Dis- 
trict Officer. He filled at various times the 
posts of District Officer at Kuala Langat, Ulu 
Selangor, and Klang, and has also acted as 
Secretary to the Selangor Government, as 



Chairman to the Kuala Lumpor Sanitary 
Board, as Commissioner of Lands and Mines, 
and as British Resident of Selangor. In Feb- 
ruary, 1904, he was appointed British Resident 
of the Negri Sambilan, and has held that, sub- 
stantive post ever since. In November, 1905, lie 
went on a special mission to Brunei, returning 
in the middle of the following January. He is 
at present away on leave, and his duties are 
being discharged by Mr. R. C. Grey, Secretary 
to the Resident of Selangor. 

Tunku Muda Chik, uncle of his Highness 
the Yang-di-Pertuan Besar, lives at Sri Menanti, 
where he has much influence. 

Dato' Klana Petra, Mamur, chief of the 
State of Sungei Ujong and one of the Undang 
(Lawgivers) of the Negri Sambilan, is about 
twenty-seven years of age. He succeeded to 
his present position when a boy. 

Dato' Bandar, of Sungei Ujong, Ahmad, 
the present chief, is an old man of between 
sixty and seventy. ' His title may be rendered 
" Chief of the Town," and he is the head of 
the " Waris di Ayer." (Water Claiis). Under 
Malay rule this officer would have received all 
the dues on the merchandise' that passed up or' 
down the river Linggi, which flows through 
Sungei Ujong. 

Dato' Penghulu, of Jelebu, Abdullah, is 
chief of the" ytate of Jelebu and one of the 

Dato' Johol, Wan Omar, is the elected 
ruler of the State of Johol and one of the 

Tunku Besar, of Tampin, Tunku Dewa, 
is the hereditary chief of the country near 

Dato' Penghulu, of Rembau, Haji Sulong, 
has been elective chief of the Rembau tribes 
and one of the Undang of the Negri Sambilan 
since 1905. 


(A member of the State Council.) 

Dato' Muda, of Linggi, Muhammad 
Bastan, an old man, is a minor chief of the 
district near the mouth of the Linggi. His 
office in former times would have been to 
collect the duty on tin which passed out by 
the Linggi. 

Mr. E. C. H. Wolff holds the substantive 
appointment as Clerk of the Negri Sambilan 
State Council, but is at present acting as 
Assistant Secretary to the Resident-General. 
A sketch of his career appears elsewhere. 

Mr. E. B. Maundrell, Acting Clerk of the 
Council, is a B..4. of Jesus College, Cambridge. 
He entered the Negri Sambilan Civil Service 
as cadet in 1903, and before taking up his 
present position acted successively as Harbour 
Master, Port Dickson, and as Assistant District 
Officer in chapge of the coast area. 

Towkay Tarn Yong.— The fact that Towkay 
Tam Yong has for many years represented 
Chinese interests in the State Council of the 
Negri Sambilan testifies to the high esteem in 
which he is held. A native of Canton, he came 
to the Federated Malay States some thirty- 
three years ago and joined a relative who 
had already established himself in business 
in that country. His father was a merchant 
in the Kwangtung Province of China and 
member of a well-known family in the Two 
Kwang. During his early stay in the Negri 

President of the State Council. A descendant 
of the first ruler of Pahang of whom any record 
is extant, Che' Wan Ahmad, as he then was, 
successfully invaded Pahang in 1865, after 
several abortive attempts to seize the country, 
first from his brother and then from his 
nephew. His rule was characterised by 
oppressive taxation of the people and by the 
merest travesty of justice, a man's licence 
extending to the length of his purse. A 
system of debt slavery prevailed, and the 
general lot of the peasant was as unen- 
viable a one as can well be conceived. 
Towards the end of 1887, however, the curb- 
chain of a Political and Commercial Treaty 
was imposed upon this tyranny, and in the 
following year a British Resident was ap- 
pointed. To his credit be it said, it is upon 
record that the Sultan has never failed to 

R. C. GREY. 

(Acting British Resident, Negri Sambilan.) 

Sambilan, Mr. Tam Yong was very successful 
as a merchant. Subsequently he purchased 
land and planted it as a coffee estate. Later 
on he became proprietor of a brick-kiln, and 
undertook several important Government con- 
tracts, amongst which was the building of. the 
gaol at Seremban. Mr. Tam Yong,' whose 
home is in Seremban, became a member- of 
the State Council in 1898, and at present is 
the only Chinese member of that body. Most 
of his business concerns now are in the Negri 
Sambilan. He has six sons and six daugliters. 
His eldest son was educated in Singapore. 


The Sultan of Pahang. — His Highness 
Sir Ahmad Maathan Shah Kbini al Merhum 
Ali, K.C.M.G., the present Sultan, is cx-officio 

recognise his treaty obligations. His High- 
ness, who resides in Pekan, is now well 
advanced in years, and his eldest son acts, in 
a sense, as his regent, travelling about the 
country in his stead. His Highness was in 
the. prime of his, life a very keen sportsman, 
and even now shoots occasionally. 

The British Resident.— Mr. Cecil Wray, 
the British Resident of Pahang, who was born 
on August 18, 1850, is the eldest son of the 
late Mr. Leonard Wray and a brother of Mr. 
Leonard Wray, I.S.O., Federal Director of 
Museums. In August, 1894, he married Ethel 
Maud,' eldest daughter of the late Rev. Richard 
Baxendale. Educated at a private school, Mr. 
Wray entered the Public Works Department, 
Perak, in 1881, as an inspector, and since that 
date has filled many positions, chief amongst 
them being those of Collector and Magistrate, 
Batang Padang and Krian ; Acting Collector 



and Magistrate,- Kinta ; Acting District Magis- 
trate, Lower Perali and Kinta ; Acting Senior 
Magistrate, Perali, and Ctiief Magistrate, 
Selangor. In 1903 lie became District Officer, 
Kinta, and in Marcti of tlie following year was 
appointed to act as British Resident of Pahaiig. 
In this position he was confirmed in September, 
1904. He resides at Kuala Lipis. Mr. Wray, 
who is well known as an authority upon the 
geology and mineralogy of the Federated Malay 
States, is a Fellow of the Geological Society, 

portions of the State in that capacity. He is 
fond of shooting, is a keen naturalist, and 
adds a knowledge of photography to his other 
accomplishments. He lives at Pekan. 

The Tungku Muda. — The second son of 
the Sultan — Tunku Ali bin Sultan Ahmad, the 
Tungku Muda — also has a seat on the State 
Council. He resides at Pekan. 

The Ungku Muda, Che' Wan Mansor bin 
Bendahara Ali, who lives in Pekan, is a younger 
half-brother of the Sultan. 

(Chief Justice.) 

and is also a member of the Royal Photographic 
Society and a Fellow of the Anthropological 

The Tungku Besar is Tungku ' Mahmud 
bin Sultan Ahmad, C.M.G., who, as his name 
implies, is a son of the reigning Sultan of 
Pahang. He married Miriam, Tungku Puan 
Besar, a daughter of the late and a sister of 
the present Sultan of Johore. He is a man of 
some education and has travelled in England. 
He acts as his father's regent, visiting outlying 

Other Members. — The rejnaining mem- 
bers of the State Council of Pahang are Wan 
Muhammad bin Wan Idris, the Dato' Maha- 
raja Perba Jelai, who lives at Bukit Kola ; 
Haji Abdul Halim bin Jaafar, the Imam Prang 
Indera Mahkota, who resides at Pekan ; Che' 
Usuf bin Che' Tukang, the Imam Prang Indera 
Stia Raja, of Pulau Tawar ; Saiyid Ali al Jofri, 
the Ungku Andak (Tuan Mandak) of Pekan ; 
and Husein bin Jedin, the Dato' Shah Bandar, 
also of Pekan. 



Sir W. H. Hyndman Jones, Chief Justice 
of the Straits Settlements, is the son of the late 
Mr. William Henry Jones, of Upper Norwood, 
London, S.E., and Adriana Johanna, daughter 
of the late Robert Sample, of Wavertree, Liver- 
pool. He was born on August g, 1847, and 
was educated at Marlborough and at Trinity 
College, Cambridge, where he took the degree 
of LL.B. Called to the Bar (Lincoln's Inn) in 
1878. he was sent two years later to inquire 
into th;; administration and working of the Bar- 
badoes police force, and in the following year 
was made Acting Judge of the Barbadoes Court 
of Appeal. He next became Magistrate of the 
first district, St. Lucia, and a member of the 
Legislative Council of the Windward Islands. 
In the following year Sir William was chosen 
as a delegate to the West Indian Telegraph 
Conference, and in 1883 he was successively 
Chief Justice of St. Lucia and Tobago and 
Acting Attorney-General and member of the 
Executive Council. Between 1887 and 1896 
he was Resident Magistrate of Westmoreland, 
Jamaica, St. Thomas Key East, St. Catherine, and 
the city and parish of Kingston ; Acting Puisne 
Judge, Acting Attorney-General and member 
of the Executive Council, and Supernumerary 
Resident Magistrate for Jamaica. In 1896 he 
was transferred to the Straits Settlements as a 
Puisne Judge, and in 1903 he became Acting 
Judicial Commissioner for the Federated Malay 
States, in which ofBce he was confirmed a year 
later. Appointed Chief Judicial Commissioner 
on January i, 1906, he was promoted in August 
of the same year to the Chief Justiceship, a 
knighthood being conferred upon him in the 
following November. Sir William is a mem- 
ber of the Albemarle Club, London, and a 
Fellow of the Colonial Institute. He married, 
in 1882, Florence Mary Elizabeth, daughter of 
William Jones, of Liverpool. 

Mr. Justice Swinford Leslie Thornton 
has been the senior Puisne Judge of the Straits 
Setllements, resident at Pinang, since igo6. 
Born on April 17, 1853, he was educated at 
King's School, Canterbury, and at Lincoln 
College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. He 
was called to the Bar in i886, and was admitted 
to the Bar of the Straits Settlements during 
the same year. In 1887 he received the 
appointment of Commissioner of the Court of 
Requests and Collector of Stamps at Malacca, 
and in the following year temporarily acted as 
Senior Magistrate at Singapore. He was 
Registrar of the Supreme Court and Magis- 
trate at Malacca in 1892, and two years later 
was transferred from the Straits Settlements 
to the West Indies as Attorney-General of St. 
Vincent. From 1894 to 1901 he was succes- 
sively Acting Administrator, St. Vincent ; Acting 
Chief Justice, St. Vincent ; Resident Magistrate, 
Jamaica, and Acting Puisne Judge, Jamaica. 
He returned to the Straits Settlements as Puisne 
Judge in 1904. 

Mr. Justice W. 'W. Fisher, Puisne Judge, 
is the son of Mr. William Richard Fisher, 
barrister-at-law, and Amelia Mary, daughter of 
Richard Woodhouse, an East India merchant. 
He was born February, 1855, in London, 
educated at Harrow, and called to the Bar 
at Lincoln's Inn in November, 1877. In 1885 
he was appointed Acting Crown Counsel on 
the North Circuit in Ceylon, where he succes- 
sively held the posts of Acting District Judge^ 
Matara ; Acting Crown Counsel, Kandy ; 
Crown Counsel, North West Province ; sec- 
retary to the committee appointed to draft the 
Code of Civil Procedure, and Additional Crown 
Counsel, North Circuit. In 1891 he was made 
President of the District Court of Kyrenia, 
Cyprus, and in 1894 became -Acting Puisne 
Judge there. In 1895 he was transferred to 
a resident magistrateship in Jamaica, and in 





(Puisne Judge.) 

1905 came to the Straits Settlements as Puisne 
Judge. He is a member of the Reform Club, 
London, and of the Garrison Golf Club and 
Tanglin Club, Singapore. 

Mr. Justice Thomas Sercombe Smith 
was appointed a Puisne Judge in 1907. Pre- 
vious to that he was for many years in the 
Hongkong Civil Service, amongst the positions 
he occupied being those of Puisne Judge, Police 
Magistrate, Colonial Treasurer, and Acting 
Colonial Secretary. In 1874 he was secretary 
to the Retrenchment Committee, and assisted 
the Attorney-General in the Taipingshan 

Mr. Justice Braddell. — The junior Puisne 
Judge, Mr. Thomas de Malton Lee Braddell, 
received his appointment in June, 1907. He is 
the son of Mr. Thomas Braddell, C.M.G., 
F.R.G.S., F.E.S.L., who married Ida Violet 
Nassau, daughter of the late John Roberts 
Kirby, J. P., of Esse.x. Born in Province Wel- 
lesley on November 25, 1856, he received his 
education at Brighton College and at Wor- 
cester College, Oxford, and in the Hilary 
Term of 1879 was called to the Bar by the 
Inner Temple. He came to Singapore in 
November, 1879, and from that time down to 
the date of his appointment to the Bench he 
has practised at the Bar of the Straits Settle- 
ments as a member of the firm of Messrs. 
Braddell Bros., with the exception of a short 
time in 1889 when he acted as Attorney- 
General . 

The Hon. Mr. W. J. Napier.— A sketch 
of the career of Mr. Napier, the Attorney- 
General, appears in the Legislative Council 

Mr. Percy Julian Sproule, Deputy Public 
Prosecutor at Singapore, is the son of Mr. J. H. 


(Police Magistrate, Malacca.) 

See p. 136. 

(Deputy Public Prosecutor.) 

Sproule, proctor, of Kandy, and was born on 
December 4, 1873, at Badulla, Ceylon. While 
at St. Thomas's College, Colombo, he won 
the Government Scholarship of ^^200 a year for 
three years tenable at an English University. 
Proceeding to Pembroke College, Cambridge, 
he took the B.A. degree in 1894, and in the 
following year was called to the Bar (Middle 
Temple). In November he entered the Straits 
Settlements Civil Service as a cadet. He has 
been Deputy Registrar and Assistant Registrar 
of the Supreme Court at Pinang, and Acting 
Second Magistrate at Singapore. In 1905 he 
became Acting Deputy Public Prosecutor, being 
confirmed in the appointment in the following 
year. Mr. Sproule is an enthusiastic Freemason, 
and last year held the position of District Grand 
Secretary for the Eastern Archipelago as well 
as being Master of St. George's Lodge, Singa- 
pore (1152). 

Mr. William Qeorge Maxwell, the Soli- 
citor-General, was born in 1871, and entered the 
service of the Perak Government as a junior 
officer in 1891. Since that time he has been 
.Assistant District Magistrate and Registrar of 
Courts, Kinta ; Acting Assistant Secretarv to 


(Senior Magistrate.) 

See p. 136. 

the Government of Perak ; .Acting Collector of 
Land Revenue, Larut ; Registrar of Titles and 
Warden of Mines, Perak, North, and Acting 
Senior Magistrate, Selangor, Negri Sam- 
bilan, and Perak. In 1904 he was transferred 
to the Civil Service of the Straits Settlements, 
and has been Acting Commissioner of the Court 
of Requests, Singapore, and District Officer of 
the Dindings. He received his present appoint- 
ment in 1906. 

Mr. Charles Eugene Velge, Registrar of 
the Supreme Court at Singapore, is the son of 
Jlr. John Henry Velge, and was born at 
Malacca on September 21, 1846. He received 
his education at King's College, London, and 
became a barrister of the Middle Temple. 




Appointed Deputy Registrar of the Supreme 
Court in June, 1874, he became Registrar in 
May of the following year. He is a member of 
the Singapore Club and of the Junior Consti- 
tulional Club, London. 

Mr. J. O. Anthonisz is the First Magistrate 
at Singapore. He was born on January 15, 
i860, and after graduating B.A. at Cambridge 
University, entered the Straits Settlements Civil 
Service as a cadet in 1883. Having spent some 
months in Madras for the purpose of studying 
Tamil, he became Assistant Emigration Agent 
and subsequently Third Magistrate at Singa- 
pore. In 1892 he was promoted to class four 
and was appointed Second Magistrate at Singa- 
pore, and in 189S he acted as First Magistrate. 
Two years later, upon elevation to class three, 
he became Official Assignee and Registrar of 
Deeds, and from 1892 he has held the follow- 
ing positions : Acting Colonial Treasurer, 
Straits Settlements, Acting Inspector of Prisons, 
Straits Settlements, Commissioner of the Court 
of Requests and President of the Singapore 
Municipal Commission. He received the sub- 
stantive appointment as First Magistrate at 
Singapore in 1902. 

Mr. W. C. Michell, Acting First Magis- 
trate at Singapore, is a son of Mr. William 
Marvick Michell, of the EngHsh Civil Service. 
He was born on August 9, 1864, at Kensing- 
ton, and after graduating B.A. at Merton 
College, Oxford, in June,"i887, was appointed to 
a cadetship in, the Straits Settlements Civil 
Service, in which he has held the following 
positions : Acting Collector and Magistrate, 
Ulu Pahang ; District 'Officer, Balik Pulau ; 
Acting District Officer, Dindings ; Deputy 
Registrar of the Supi-eme Court, Pinang ; 
Second Magistrate, Singapore ; Acting Second 
Assistant Colonial Secretary ; Collector of 
Land Revenue, Singapore ; Acting Senior 
District Officer, Province Wellesley ; Official 
Assignee, and Acting Commissioner, Court 
of Requests. Mr. Michell is a member of 
the Sports Club, London, and of all local clubs. 
He is married and has one daughter. 

Mr. L. E. P. Wolferstan.— The Acting 
First Magistrate at Pinang is Mr. Littleton 
Edward Pipe Wolferstan, M.A. Cantab., who 
was born in 1866, and has been in the Straits 
Settlements Civil Service since 1889. After 
being attached to the Colonial Secretary's 
Office, he acted successively as private secre- 
tary to the Governor and as District Officer 
at Bukit Mertajam and Balik Patau. In 1897 he 
acted as Second Magistrate at Singapore, and 
in 1900 became Sheriff and Deputy Regis- 
trar of the Supreme Court. The principal 
positions he has held subsequently are Secre- 
tar5' to the High Commissioners, Federated 
Malay States, and Senior District Officer, 
Province Wellesley. 

Mr.pranklyn 5. Robinson holds quite a 
multiplicity of official appointments in Malacca, 
being Chief Magistrate, Deputy Registrar of the 
Supreme Court, Sheriff, Commissioner of the 
Court of Requests, Registrar of Christian and 
Mahomedan Marriages and Chairman of the 
Board of Licensing Justices. A son of Mr. 
W. H. Robinson, now retired from commercial 
business and living in Essex, Mr. F. Robinson 
was born on December g, 1878, at Sunderland, 
Durham, and received his education at the 
North-eastern County School, Barnard Castle, 

and at Durham University. He passed the 
Eastern cadetship examination in 1902, and 
was - appointed to . the' Straits Settlements 
service. In the first place Mr. Robinson was 
attached to the Land' Office in Malacca, where 
he also served as head of the Malay College 
and Demarcation Officer. Before receiving his 
present appointments he also acted as Superin- 
tendent of Educatioii' at Pinang and District 
Officer at Jasih. . Mr. , Robinson is a member 
of the Oxford and Cambridge Union and of all 
local clubs. His recreations are golf, tennis, 
and cricket. 


Mr. Justice Law. — The Hon. Mr. A. 
Fitzgerald Law, M.A.; now on leave, has held 
the office of Chief Judicial Commissioner of the 
Federated Malay States since August, igo6. He 
had a long and varied .experience in Cyprus, 
where he was latterly Queen's Advocate, 
and in the Straits Settlements, to . which 
he came as Puisne Judge in'j893.' He was 
the senior Puisne Judge stationed at Pinang 
in 1901, and in the same year acted as Chief 
Justice of the Straits Settlements. In T894 
he was appointed to conduct a special in- 
quiry in Perak, and received the thanks of 
the Secretary of State for his services. Born 
in 1853, Mr. Law graduated at Oriel College, 
Oxford, and was called to the Bar by the Inner 
Temple in 1879. One of his chief amusements 
is golf ; in former days he was a well-known 
Rugby footljaller. He is a member of the 
Oxford and Cambridge Club and of several local 

Mr. Justice Innes. — The senior Judicial 
Commissioner of the Federated Malay States is 
the Hon. Mr. John Robert Innes, who was born 
on September 4, 1863, and was educated at 
Edinburgh and Brussels Universities. Subse- 
quently he was admitted a barrister of Lincoln's 
Inn, and in November, 1886, he entered the 
Straits Settlements Civil Service as a cadet. 
After passing an examination in Malay in 1889, 
he became District Officer of South Malacca in 
1890, and during the succeeding four years he 
remained at Malacca, holding successively the 
positions of Assistant Indian Immigration Agent 
and Acting Collector of Land Revenue and 
Magistrate. He came to Singapore, after passing 
in Dutch, in 1894, ^^ Acting Collector of Land 
Revenue, and he subsequently acted as Magis- 
trate, Official Assignee and Registrar of Deeds, 
Assistant Colonial Secretary, Collector of Land 
Revenue and Officer in Charge of the Treasury, 
Magistrate and-Deputy Registrar of the Supreme 
Court (Malacca), Collector' of Land Revenue 
(Pinang), Senior District Officer, Province 
Wellesley, First Magistrate (Pinang), Inspector 
of Prisons, Superintendent of Census, Deputy 
Public Prosecutor (Singapore), and Secretary 
to the Government of Perak. Just prior to 
taking up his present position in 1906 he was 
•appointed Acting Attorney-General, Singa- 

Mr. Justice Woodward. — The junior 
Judicial Commissioner for the Federated Malay 
States is the Hon. Mr. Lionel Mabbott Wood- 
ward, M.A., who has held the appointment 
since the beginning of 1906. Mr. Woodward, 
who is a barrister-at-law of the Inner Temple, 
was educated at Harrow and at Trinity Col- 

lege, Cambridge. He entered the Straits Settle- 
ments Civil Service as a cadet in 1888, and in 
the following year was appointed to assist the 
Indian Immigration Agent at Pinang. After 
holding several magisterial and other appoint- 
ments in Singapore, Bukit Mertajam, Province 
Wellesley, and Pinang, he became, in 1904, 
Deputy Public Prosecutor, Singapore, and later 
was detailed for special work in connection 
with the Tanjong Pagar Arbitration as junior 
counsel for the Straits Settlements Government. 
Mr. Woodward is a good cricketer, and takes a 
great interest in all other forms of sport, tennis 
and golf especially. He resides in Ipoh, where 
he has won much popularity. He is a member 
of most of the local clubs and of the Consti- 
tutional Club, London. 

Mr. F. Belfield, M.A. Oxon., barrister-at- 
law. Inner Temple, now Acting Chief Judicial 
Commissioner for the Federated Malay States, 
holds the substantive appointment of Legal 
Adviser and Public Prosecutor. He entered the 
Civil Service in 1891, and held the positions of 
ActingTreasurer, Pahang ; Collector and Magis- 
trate, Pekan,and Registrar of Mines for Pahang ; 
Magistrate, Kuala Lumpor ; Collector of Land 
Revenues, Kinta, and other appointments. The 
first Federal office he held was that of Acting 
Legal Adviser, in 1901. He was also for a 
time Acting Commissioner of Lands and 
Mines. Mr. Belfield is fifty-two years of age. 
Mr. L. P. Ebden, Inspector of Prisons, 
Straits - Settlements, and First Magistrate of 
Pinang, is at present acting as Legal Ad- 
viser and Public Prosecutor, Federated Malav 

Mr. H. J. Noel Wallcer.— The Registrar 
of the Supreme Court is Mr. Henry James Noel 
Walker, who was born in 1872 and came out 
to Perak as a junior officer in 1898. On pass- 
ing in Malay he was appointed Acting Secretary 
to the Sanitary Board, Taiping, and from that 
time till the end of 1902 held various offices in 
the State, including those of Collector of Land 
Revenue, Batang Padang ; Assistant District 
Magistrate, Tanjong Malim, and Acting Assist- 
ant District Magistrate, Gopeng.' In 1903 he 
was Second Magistrate of Kuala Lumpor, and 
towards the end of the same year was removed 
to Perak as Acting Chief Assistant District 
Officer, Kinta. In January, 1906, he was 
appointed Registrar of the Supreme Court. 
He is now acting as Assistant District Officer, 
Kinta, and resides at Ipoh. 

Mr. R. D. Acton.— The Acting Assistant 
Registrar of the Supreme Court, Federated 
Malay States, Mr. Roger David Acton, is 
a son of Mr. W. R. Acton, of Worcester- 
shire, and was born in March, 1874, 
at Oscott. He was educated at University 
College, London, and entered the service of 
the Selangor Government in 1806. Two years 
later he passed in Malay, and became Acting 
Assistant District Officer, Kuala Kubu, and in 
1899 he qualified in law. He was afterwards 
appointed successively Acting District Officer of 
Jelebu ; Acting Collector of Land Revenue, 
Lower Perak ; Assistant Secretary to the 
Resident, Perak ; Acting Assistant District 
Officer, Gopeng ; and Acting Registrar of Courts, 
Kinta. Under the Federal Government he was 
appointed first to the post of Acting Assistant 
Registrar at Ipoh, and then, in March, 1906, to 
his present position. 







XCEPT for a consump- 
tion-tax, on opium and 
spirits, ttie Straits Settle- 
ments are entirely free 
from taxation. On Jan. 
I, 1-907, there was prac- 
tically no public debt, 
for up to that date all 
capital expenditure on 
public works, including the Singapore and 
Malacca Railway, had.been paid out of current 
revenue. The only sum which the Straits 

Settlements Government owed was 600,000 
dollars, borrowed from the F'ederated Malay 
States Government for the Pinang pier ex- 
tension in 1903-4, and after making provision 
for this there remained a credit balance of 
3,206,750 dollars. In the early part of 1907, 
however, the Legislative Council authorised 
the raising of a loan of £^7,86:, 457 in connec- 
tion with the harbour improvement scheme 
(Tanjong Pagar Dock Expropriation and re- 
clamation works). Of this sum £6,363,600 
will be spent on works which, according to 

a Government paper published at the time, 
will be of a revenue-producing character, 
whilst the expenditure of ;^i,264,ooo on the 
Teluk Ayer moles and quays will yield a 
large return from the sale of reclaimed lands, 
besides earning revenue. It is estimated that 
this will in time repay the capital cost of the 
work. The charges for three-fourths of the 
loan will fall on the Tanjong Pagar Board 
and the Singapore and Pinang municipalities, 
for whom the Government make themselves 

Table A. 

Heads of Revenue. 

Land and other rents ... 

Opium and spirit revenue 

Interest ... 

Railway receipts 

Stamps, Post Office, and fees 

Harbour receipts 

Sales of land, &c 

Sundry receipts 






































110,746,517 I #11,657,424 








Table B. 

He.\ds of Expenditure. 

Charges on account of the Public Debt 


Personal Emoluments 

Other Civil Service charges 

Charitable allowances ... 
Transport ... 



Miscellaneous services 

Military expenditure 

Expenses under the Volunteer Ordinance 

Native States 

Land and houses purchased 

Special expenses ... 

Public works, annually recurrent 

Roads, streets, bridges and canals, annually recarren 

Public works, special services 

Roads, streets, bridges and canals, special services 










































232,93 I 




























#7,600,734 _ 











2, 157,938 













#10,976,525 #8,747,820 




Seventy per cent, of the total revenue of ttie 
Straits Settlements is derived from the opium 
and spirit farmers, to whom is let the sole 
right to import opium and collect the duty 
on all spirituous liquors sold in the colony. 

that in the revenue for that year 1,414,218 
dollars was included for the sale of the Malacca 
Railway to the Federated Malay States Govern- 
ment, there would have been a large decrease 
as compared with the return for the preceding 
twelve months. At the same time it must be 
borne in mind that the revenue for 1904 was 

MB. E. C. HILL. 

(Auditor General, S.S.) 


(Colonial Treasurer, S.S.) (Acting Colonial Treasurer, S.S.) 

The remaining 30 per cent, is yielded by land 
rents and sales, by the Post Office, by stamp 
fees, by light dues paid by shipping, by the 
Singapore and Kranji Railway, by interest 
on investments, and by pawnbroking licences. 
From 1900 the revenue increased every year 
up to and including 1905, but had it not been 

unduly inflated because a new firm obtained 
the opium and spirit farms at a figure which 
was roughly 3,000,000 dollars a year in excess 
of the price paid by their predecessors. The 
new syndicate lost heavily on this transaction, 
and the Government had to make concessions 
which caused a reduction of 1,000,000 dollars 

in the opium and spirit revenue in 1905 as 
compared with 1904, and of 200,000 dollars 
in 1906 as compared with 1905. 

The revenue for the seven years 1900 to 1906 
is shown in Table A. 

Compared with the return for 1905, there 
were increases in 1906 under the headings 
stamps, posts and telegraphs, port and har- 
bour dues, office fees, and rents and land 
revenue amounting to 305,576 dollars, and de- 
creases under the headings land sales (due to 
the sale of the Malacca Railway in 1905), 
reimbursements, licences (opium and spirit), 
interest, and district collections, totalling 
2,344,687 dollars. 


The chief items of expenditure relate to the 
Civil Service, Military Forces, and Public 
Works. The expenditure has increased each 
year from 1900 until 1906, when, however, 
there was a reduction of 2,228,706 dollars as 
compared with the preceding twelve months. 
The saving was effected in connection with 
public works (special services), special ex- 
penses, the purchase of land and houses, 
military forces, and interest. Public works 
(special services) alone were responsible for 
a reduction of 1,174,353 dollars. In Table B 
is shown the expenditure for the seven years 
1900 to 1906. 

The percentage of revenue and expenditure 
in respect of the three settlements of the 
colony during 1906 was as follows : 




62 per cent. 

7i » 


61 per cent. 

6 „ 

Eight per cent, of the expenditure went to the 
Crown Agents, and ij per cent, of the revenue 
came from them. It is worthy of note that, 
taking the average of the last seven years, 
personal emoluments amount to 27-1 per cent, 
of the total expenditure, a figure which com- 
pares favourably with most of the other Crown 


The currency of the colony consists of the 
Straits silver dollar, with silver fifty, twenty, 
ten, and five-cent pieces, and copper one, half, 
and quarter-cent pieces. Straits dollars and 
fifty-cent pieces are legal tender up to any 
amount, subsidiary silver coins up to two 
dollars, and copper coins up to one dollar. 
Gold is also legal tender without limit. 

The average monthly circulation of coinage 
during 1906 was estimated at 22,352,957 dollars. 
Notes are issued by the Government for one, 
five, ten, fifty, and one hundred dollars, and by 
the Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and 
China and the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank- 
ing Corporation for five, ten, twenty-five, fifty, 
and one hundred dollars. The average circu- 
lation of Government currency notes during 
1906 was 21,866,142 dollars and of bank-notes 
1.329.052 dollars. A coin reserve in silver and 
gold equal to at least half the note issue is 
kept by the Government. The Hongkong and 
Shanghai Banking Corporation is bound by 
ordinance to retain specie to the extent of 
one-third of the amount of the notes it issues, 
and the Chartered Bank has to lodge coin or 
securities with the Crown Agents or Trustees 
equal to one-third of the maximum amount of 
notes for the time being allocated to the Straits 

It is unnecessary fully to detail the causes of 
fluctuation of the exchange value of the Straits 
dollar before it was fixed by Government in 
1906 at 60 dollars for £^ sterling, but the 
following table, showing the average rate of 
exchange during the last thirty-five years, 
emphasises the seriousness of the problem 



with which the Government were faced when 
they considered the question of fixing the rate 
of exchange : — 




s. d. 


s. d. 

1870 . 

■• 4 51 

1888 .. 

■ 3 li 

187 1 . 

••4 5 

1889 ., 

• 3 n 

1872 . 

.. 4 6 

1890 .. 

■■ 3 5i 

1873 ■ 

•• 4 45 

189I . 

■ • 3 3 

1874 . 

•• 4 3i 

1892 . 

.. 2 I0| 

1875 ■ 

•■ 4 15 

1893 .. 

■• 2 3| 

1876 . 

•■ 4 oi 

1894 •■ 

.. 2 If 

1877 . 

•• 4 oj 

1895 • 

.. 2 14 

1878 . 

■ • 3 II 

1896 . 

.. 2 2J 

1879 . 

•■ 3 9J 

1897 . 

•■ I nil 

1880 . 

•• 3 9! 

1898 . 

•• I IItV 

1881 . 

•• 3 9l 

1899 . 

•• T Illf 

1882 . 

•• 3 9i 

1900 . 

.. 2 Of 


s. d. 





a. d. 

I 8J 
I 9j 

I 10 


The continued rise in the price of silver 
during the first nine months of 1906 and the 
consequent reduction of the margin between 
the fixed value of the dollar and its intrinsic 
value compelled the Government to take stock 
of their position in September. The question 
before them was whether the margin should 
be provided by leaving the size and fineness of 
the dollar as it was and raising its value to, 
say, 2s. 6d., or by leaving tlie value as it was 
fixed in January and debasing the dollar. In 

view of the contracts entered into and the 
debts incurred on a dollar fixed at 2s. 4d. so 
recentlv as Januar}', and having regard to the 
obligations of the Government towards then- 
own servants, the Government had no hesi- 
tation in adopting the bolder course of adhering 
to the value fixed and of reducing the bullion 
value. Preparations were accordingly made 
for shipping the currency coin reserve for re- 
minting before any decision had been arrived 
at as to the weight and fineness of the new- 
dollar, and for drawing in the existing dollars 
from the banks by the issue of one-dollar notes.- 
In addition to this it was considered expedient, 
in view of a possible stringency of coin, to 
make gold and the fifty-cent piece legal tender 
without limit. It was also decided to extend 
the legal tender of the one-dollar note from, 
ten dollars to any amount. 


THE system of finance followed in the 
Federated Malay States has been gradu- 
ally evolved out of the peculiar constitutional 
position of the territory and local necessities. 
When the Residential system was first adopted, 
amongst the special instructions given to the 
Resident was an injunction "to initiate a sound 
system of taxation with the consequent develop- 
ment of the country and the supervision of 
the collection of the revenue, so as to insure 
the receipt of funds necessary to carry out 
the principal engagements of the Government 
and to pay for the cost of the British officers 
and whatever establishments i-nay be necessary 
to support them." This direction laid upon the 
British officials a heavy task, and we have Sir 
Frank Swettenham's testimony that their early 
days were " a perpetual nightmare, a ceaseless 
struggle to make bricks without straw." Their 
most delicate and difficult duty was to persuade 
the local chiefs that all revenue must be col- 
lected by Government officials and paid into 
the Government treasury. However, with 
patience and firmness the desired end was 
eventually reached, though at the outset there 
were many heart-searchings amongst the class 
who had hitherto controlled the mainsprings 
of public money. 

One of the earliest operations imdertaken 
was the overhauling of the revenue arrange- 
ments. Under Malay rule a number of vexatious 
imposts had grown up which, besides being 
politically and morally objectionable, were 
comparatively speaking unproductive. These 
were all abolished, and in tlieir place a regular 
revenue system was established, very much on 
the lines of that of the Straits Settlements. An 
import duty was imposed on opium and spirits, 
a farm of the right to open gambling-houses for 
the Chinese in specified places was issued, and 
licences for the opening of pawnbroking shops 
were granted. But the backbone of the system 
was an export duty on tin, jungle produce, and 
salt fish. The fish duty was ultimately abolished, 
but the tin duty continues to be the mainstay 
of State finance, though it seems likely in the 
near future that it may find a strong competitor 
in rubber as a contributor to the Federated 
States' resources. 

Up to the time of federation each State 
acted independently in financial as in other 
matters. The revenue collected was spent in 
defraying purely local charges, and the liabihties 
of one State were no concern of its neighbour. 
On the introduction of the federal principle a 
new arrangement was made. The revenue of 
each State was still collected separately, but 
where the income of any State was not suffi- 
ciently large to entirely defray the cost of its 
own development, pecuniary assistance was 
rendered by those in more prosperous circum- 
stances. The Negri Sambilan and Pahang 
have largely benefited under this system. They 

have been able, particularly the last-named 
State, to develop their resources with capital 
advanced from the central exchequer. Gene- 
rally the interests of the territory' as a whole 
have been promoted by an arrangement like 
this, which is based on the broad principle of 
mutual help. 

Simultaneously with the introduction of the 
new system a Financial Commissioner was 
appointed to supervise the whole machinery of 
finance in the various States. There was also 
a reorganisation of the Treasury and Audit 
arrangements, greatly to the advantage of the 
public interests. On the first introduction of 
the Residential principle. Budgets were annually 
submitted by the Residents to the Governor of 
the Straits Settlements, whose sanction was 
essential before any expenditure could be em- 
barked upon. The arrangement is still in force, 
and the practice is for the Governor to send 
the financial statements he receives to the 
Colonial Office for publication with the annual 
reports as Parliamentary papers. 

The effect of British control of the finances 
of the States was very marked from the outset, 
as the figures given in the historical section of 
this work clearly indicate. The revenue was 
more than doubled in the first five years, and it 
had quintupled ten years after the introduction 
of the Residential system. In the last financial 
year for which returns are available (1906), the 
revenue was sixty-six times as much as it was 
in the first year for which returns are available, 
while there was a surplus twelve times as large 
as the entire revenue in 1875. 

The existing financial position of the fede- 
rated territory as disclosed in tl-ie report for 
igo6 is one of remarkable prosperity. During 
the year the total revenue collected was 
27,223,475 dollars, an amount which was 
3,674,807 dollars in excess of the estimate, and 
3,258,882 dollars in excess of the revenue of 

The revenue is made up as follows : 

Federal receipts $6,506,160 

Perak collections 10,572,076 

Selangor collections ... 7,304,148 

Negri Sambilan collections 2,279,957 

Pahang collections ... 561,134 

Total ... $27,223,475 

The federal receipts include the revenue 
derived from railways, forests, and posts, 
telegraphs, and stamps. The federal receipts 
are apportioned to the four States, the revenues 
for the vear of which with this addition are : 



Negri Sambilan ... 





Somewhat less than half the total revenue- 
was derived from customs duties, which yielded 
12,695,538 dollars, of which the export duty on 
tin contributed 10,036,796 dollars. There was 
an increase in customs receipts as compared 
with 1905 of 967,230 dollars, the tin duty being 
responsible for 787,169 dollars of this amount. 
Land revenue (exclusive of land sales) pro- 
duced 1,038,758 dollars, or about 150,000 dollars 
more than in the previous year. Land sales 
accounted for 373,956 dollars, virhich compares 
with 191,307 dollars in 1905. The striking 
increase is attributable to the remarkable de- 
velopment of rubber cultivation in the period, 
and to larger premia on mining leases. 
Licences, excise and internal revenue, &c., 
contributed 4,709,898 dollars to the total,, 
against 4,041,279 dollars in 1905. Municipal 
revenue in the various States amounted to 
733i309 dollars, an increase of 49,397 dollars- 
Collections for port dues realised 22,213 dollars. 
Under Federal Receipts, railways yielded 
41778,633 dollars, an increase over the receipts 
of 1905 of 734,965 dollars. Posts, telegraphs 
and stamps brought in 437,486 dollars. 

Turning to the other side of the account, we 
find that the expenditure amounted to 18,899,425 
dollars, a decrease as compared with 1905 of 
1,850,970 dollars. It should be explained, 
however, that in the expenditure of 1905 there 
was included an exceptional sum of 1,349,505 
dollars paid to the Government of the Straits 
Settlements on account of the purchase by the 
Federated Malay States of the Malacca-Tamfin 
Railway, and that on the other hand there has to 
be added to the ordinary expenditure of 1906 a 
sum of 3,221,761 dollars expended on railway 
construction in Johore for the account of the 
Johore Government. With this last mentioned 
amount the total expenditure on all services for 
1906 amounts to 22,121,186 dollars. On account 
of railways, exclusive of the Johore expenditure, 
4,628,731 dollars was disbursed, 726,356 dollars 
of this sum being on construction account. 
Under Public Works a sum of 2,042,657 dollars- 
was expended on works and buildings, 3,805,199 
dollars on the construction and upkeep of 
roads, streets, and bridges, and 149,763 dollars 
on irrigation works. Altogether the expendi- 
ture on public works and railways in the 
Federated Malay States amounted to 11,296,394 
dollars, or if the Johore contribution is included, 
to 14,518,15s dollars. 

The values of the surplus assets of the 
several States of the Federation on January i, 
1907, calculated on the basis of a 2s. 4d. dollar, 
were : Perak, 14,722,258 dollars ; Selangor, 
17,054,425 dollars, and Negri Sambilan, 
1,311,048 dollars. From these amounts has to 
be deducted the debt of the Pahang State, 
amounting to 5,788,303 dollars. Allowing for 
this, the value of the assets of the Federation on 
the basis of a 2s. 4d. dollar is 27,299,428 dollars. 



Mr. A. T. Bryant is the Colonial Treasurer 
of the Straits Settlements. A sketch of his 
career appears under the heading Executive 

Mr. E. C. H. Hill.— The biography of Mr. 
Hill, the Auditor-Gttneial, appears in the 
Executive Council section. 

Mr. Joseph Leeman King, Assistant 
Treasurer, received his appointment in iSgg. 
Ten years previously he had come to the 
colony as a European master at the Govern- 
ment English School. In igop he was for 
some time .Acting Auditor at Pinang. 

The Assistant Treasurer, Pinang, Mr. 
Oeorge Copley, was appointed by his Ex- 
cellency the Governor in 1903, having pre- 
viously occupied the post of Secretary to the 
Municipality of Malacca. 

Mr. William Alfred Bicknell was born 
in 1859, and at the age of nineteen was 
nominated by the late Mr. Matthew Arnold for 
•educational work in the Straits Settlements. 
In the year following he was appointed an 
assistant in Raffles Institution at Singapore. 
During 1884 he acted as Chief Clerk in the 
Secretariat, and in 1885 was appointed to the 
substantive position. Mr. Bicknell has held 
the office of Auditor at Pinang since 1888, and 
for many years has acted also as librarian of 
the Pinang Library. 

Mr. Henry George Bagnall Vane, 
Treasurer of the Federated Malay States, was 

H. G. B. VANE. 
(Fedei-al Treasurer.) 

torn in 186 1 and educated at Marlborough. 
He came out to the Federated Malay States in 
1884 as Assistant Auditor, Perak, and in 1887 
took up the acting appointment of Assistant 
Auditor-General for the Straits Settlements. 
He was next stationed in Negri Sambilan, 
where he remained until, in 1893, he was 
appointed -Auditor for Selangor. In 1895 he 
became State .\uditor for Perak, and in 1903 
he entered the service of the Federal Govern- 
ment, passing through the oflice of Acting 
Financial Commissioner to that which he now 
occupies in November, 1906. Mr. Vane has 
always been an enthusiastic tennis player, and 
has known the day when scarcely a man in the 
Federated Malay States could defeat him. He 
■was also a smart footballer in his younger days. 
He is secretary of the Lake Club, and has done 
a great deal to further its interests and con- 
tinue its popularity. 

Mr. W. J. P. Hume.— The post of Auditor- 
General of the Federated Malay States is 
filled by Mr. William James Parke Hume, 
who was born on January 25, 1866, and was 
educated at Haileybury. Before coming East 
he studied languages in France, Germany, and 
Belgium. He was first stationed in Perak, 

in 1888, as junior oflicer in the Kinta District. 
He rose rapidly to the position of Assistant 
District JIagistrate and Collector of Land 
Revenue, and was then transferred to Ipoh as 
Acting .Assistant to the District Magistrate. In 

1899 he went to Selangor as Warden of Mines, 
the duties of Acting District Officer of Ulu 
Langat being added later, .^t the beginning of 

1900 he was transferred to Ulu Pahang as 
District Officer, but twelve months later he 
recrossed the hills and became District Officer 
of Ulu Selangor. Whilst there he received the 
thanks of Government for his services in con- 
nection with putting down the riots. In 1903 
he married Alice, eldest daughter of George 
Stevenson, of " Oakleigh," Bromborough, 
Cheshire. On his return he was stationed in 
Perak, where he filled various posts, including 
those of Acting Senior Magistrate and .Acting 
Secretary to the Resident. He assumed his 
present duties towards the end of 1906. A 
playing member of the Polo Club, Mr. Hume is 
partial to all forms of sport, and takes a keen 
interest in the Volunteer movement, ranking as 
lance-corporal in the JIalay States Volunteer 
Rifles. He is a member of the Sports Club, 
London, and of a score of clubs in the Fede- 
rated ilalay States and Straits Settlements. 
He lives in Kuala Lumpor. 

Mr. Charles Beresford Mills, Revenue 
.\uditor for Selangor, Negri Sambilan, and 
Pahang, was born on November 9, 1871. He 
came out to take charge of the Audit Office, 
Pahang, in 1892, and became Auditor in 1895. 
In the following year he received, in addition, 
the acting appointment of Treasurer and Super- 
intendent of Posts and Telegraphs. In 19O2 
he was transferred to Negri Sambilan as 
.^.cting State .Auditor, and in the following 
year entered the service of the Federal Govern- 
ment, and held several positions, culminating in 
that which he now fills. His address is Kuala 

Mr. Frederic William Talbot, Revenue 
Auditor of Perak, was born in 1865, and came 
out as accountant to the Perak Sikhs in 1891. 
He was appointed .-issistant Auditor in 1893 
and .Acting State Auditor in the foUowmg 
year. He was then moved to Negri Sambilan, 
where in 1898 he became State Auditor. 
Similar duties in Selangor occupied him until 
1902, when he returned to Perak for a year 
as .Acting State Auditor, Revenue Branch. 
Under the Federal Government he has filled 
the positions of Revenue Auditor, Selangor ; 
Revenue Auditor, Perak; Acting Chief Auditor, 
Central Audit Office, and latterly that which 
he now occupies. He lives in Taiping. 

Mr. Gerald C. Koch has been Assistant 
District Treasurer at Kuala Lumpor since April, 
1906. He was born in 1864 and entered the 
Selangor Government service in 1892. He is 
the hon. treasurer of the Kuala Lumpor 


The establishment of a bank in Singapore 
was first suggested in 1833. The proposal was 
to invite subscriptions for two thousand shares 
of 200 dollars each, and to make advances on 
property, discounting at 12 per cent., with a 
commission of a quarter to a half per cent, on 
sums withdrawn from current accounts. This 
scheme, however, did not come to fruition, and 
two years later another was mooted. On this 
occasion a prospectus was issued stating that it 
was proposed to establish a bank in Singapore 
to be known as the Singapore and Ceylon 
Bank, with a capital of £200,000, divided into 
five thousand shares of ^^'40 each. The board 
of directors was to be in London. For a 
second time, however, failure was encountered. 

In 1840 Mr. A. G. Paterson, of the Union 
Bank of Calcutta, opened a local branch of that 
financial house, and business was commenced 
in December. .Advances were made on goods 

to three-fourths of their value, and on bullion, 
&c., to go per cent, of its value. The rate of 
interest charged was g per cent, on the former 
and 7 on the latter, whilst discount varied from 
8 to 10 per cent. 

The year 1846 saw the establishment of a 
branch of the Oriental Bank, Mr. William 
Anderson being the manager. The first bank 
notes in Singapore were issued from this 
establishment three years later and were of the 
value of 5 dollars and 100 dollars. In 1863, 
although other banking houses had opened 
branches in the meantime, the Oriental Bank 
was still very successful in its operations, and 
paying a dividend and bonus amounting to 
15 per cent, for the year. At the general 
meeting of shareholders the chairman men- 
tioned that during its twelve years' existence 
the branch had repaid the whole of its capital 
and 60 per cent, besides. The bank, however, 
suspended payment on May 5, 1884, and in 
October of the same year the New Oriental 
Bank was opened. Business was transacted 
by the new company until i8g2, but on June 9th 
of that year payment was again stopped. 

The branch of the Mercantile Bank of India 
was founded in 1855 and was closely followed 
by the Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappy in 
1837 and the Chartered Bank in 1859. The 
Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation 
opened their Singapore branch in l866. The 
other banks in Singapore — the Banque de ITndo 
Chine, the International Banking Corporation, 
the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank, and the Neder- 
landsch Indische Handel Bank — have all been 
established within the last five years. 

Five of the Singapore banks have established 
branches in Pinang within the last fifteen 
years. There is no bank at Malacca. In tfie 
Federated Malay States the only banks are the 
three branches of the Chartered Bank at Kuala 
Lumpor, Taiping, and Ipoh respectively. 

The standard rate of interest given by the 
Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay 
States banks on fixed deposits is 4 per cent, per 
annum. On current accounts 1 per cent, per 
annum on the daily balance is paid. For over- 
drafts and loans advanced on good security, 
from 6 to 7 per cent, per annum is charged by 
all the banks. 

The value of the Straits dollar was fixed at 
2S. 4d. in 1906, at which price, approximately, 
the Government undertake to maintain it. 
With a large native business, the banks in 
British ilalaya naturally find it necessary to 
have some local official as intermediary between 
their European officers and native constituents, 
and for this purpose most of them employ a 
chief Chinese cashier known as the compradore, 
through whom the whole of the large volume 
of Chinese business is transacted, and he is 
responsible for every Chinese account opened. 

In spite of the exercise of every care, there 
have been several daring bank robberies in the 
history of the colonies. On one occasion a 
large safe was taken away bodily in the middle 
of the day by a number of coolies. Only sub- 
ordinate native clerks were present at the time, 
and they were all deceived into thinking that 
it was being removed by authority to undergo 
repairs. In igoi notes to the value of 272,855 
dollars were stolen from the Hongkong and 
Shanghai Bank, and were successfully shipped 
away from the colony. About a month later, 
however, 258,000 dollars of 'this sum was 
recovered at Colombo. 


.Associated with the banking system is the 
financial system maintained by the Chetties, 
who are an influential and intelligent class of 
native merchants engaged largely in monev- 
lending. For generations these Chetties, whose 
full caste designation is the Nattu Kotte 
Chetties, have taken an important part in the 
operations of trade in Southern India, and in 



recent years have extended ttieir influence to 
centres as wide apart as Calcutta, Rangoon, 
Colombo, and the Straits Settlements. They 
are amongst the wealthiest members of the 
community, but they live in a very simple way. 
Their dress consists merely of a strip of muslin 
cloth wound loosely round their limbs and a 
pair of leather sandals. As an ornament they 
often wear a gold wire round the neck with a 
massive gold ornament attached to it. They 
seldom or never purchase any of the luxuries 
of Western civilisation, but they spend large 
sums of money on the Hindu Temples which 
they attend. They obtain money from the 
local banks on demand notes signed by two or 
more Chetties, and lend it out to necessitous 
traders and others at heavy rates of interest. 
The amounts advanced by the banks on the 
demand notes are regulated by the standing of 

banks and the Law Courts. The power which 
these men wield over traders with little 
capital at their disposal and spendthrifts who 
get into debt is very considerable. They 
prosecute such strict inquiries into the affairs 
and movements of their clients that they seldom 
suffer serious losses. 


With the steady growth of German trade in 
the populous centres of China and Japan, the 
interests of German commercial houses in 
dealing with their headquarters or branches 
in the Fatherland necessitated a medium for 
the transaction of financial business, and this 
was supplied in i88q, when the Deutsch-Asia- 
tische Bank opened its head office at Shanghai. 
During the nineties the bank embraced one 

interests. All kinds of financial transactions— 
the depositing of funds, the buying and seHing 
of securities, the transmission of money by 
means of drafts and cablegrams, the purchase 
and sale of specie, &c. — are carried on at 
Singapore, and there is no doubt that in time to 
come the bank, although not now as big or as 
powerful as the old-established English corpo- 
rations, will prove an important asset to the 
commercial community of the colony. It 
carries on business at Shanghai, Berlin, 
Calcutta, Hamburg, Hongkong, Kobe, Yoko- 
hama, Tientsin, Tsingtan, Hankow, Pekin, 
Tsin Anfoo, and Singapore. 

Mr. Seow Ewe Lin, compradore of the 
Deutsch-Asiatische Bank at Singapore, is the 
youngest son of the late Seow Thik Boo, a 
Straits-born Chinaman, who carried on busi- 
ness as a merchant in Singapore for many 

W' w> 


:r.3 ^52^ 2E«- J' 


^^pp,p'0i>i>Pim^miikfng n'-^ 


the Chetties who sign them. In appraising the 
credit of a particular Chetty the bank seldom 
errs ; though, as an additional precaution, some 
institutions insist upon a personal guarantee 
from their own " shroff," or head cashier, who 
may be a Chetty himself. So elaborate are 
the precautions taken, and so great is the 
business aptitude and reputation of the Chetties, 
that the losses incurred by the banks in dealing 
with them are relatively small. The usual 
method employed by the Chetties in lending 
money is to accept as security a promissory 
note signed by the bofrower and one approved 
surety, and in most cases repayment has to 
be made monthly. For this accommodation 
interest at the rate of 10, 15, and even 20 per 
cent, per mensem is charged, and these native 
financiers are not slow to avail themselves of 
the law. Indeed, it is a common saying locally 
that Chetties spend their time between the 

after another of the most important business 
centres of the Far East. In the early part 
of 1905, at the time of the Russo-Japanese War, 
when money was spent by both belligerent 
Powers without stint, the bank opened branches 
at Yokohama and Kobe, conferring a long and 
eagerly expected boon on the German commu- 
nity of Japan, and in May, igo6, in response to 
the long-standing desire of the German busi- 
ness houses in the Straits Settlements, opened 
a branch at Singapore. The manager, Mr. 
E. Schulze, under whose direction the necessary 
preparations for the inauguration of the Singa- 
pore branch were carried out, has had a unique 
experience of Eastern finance at Shanghai, 
Hankow, and Tientsin, and this stood him in 
good stead at Singapore. Although the bank is 
prepared to do business for the whole mercan- 
tile community, both European and Chinese, 
it has so far principally served German 

years. Mr. Seow Ewe Lin was born in 1873 
and was educated at Raffles Institution. In 
1889 he entered the service of the Chartered 
Bank and acquired an extensive knowledge of 
banking business. He took up his present 
responsible position in 1906, when he was only 
thirty-three years of age. He is a member of 
the Straits Chinese Association, and in 1895 
married a daughter of the late Cheong Choo 
Jin, of Singapore. 


The Singapore branch of this well-known 
banking corporation is situated at the corner 
of CoUyer Quay and Battery Road, and is 
housed in one of the most imposing and 
beautiful buildings of the town. The corpora- 
tion does an extensive business throughout 




Malaya, and employs a very large staff. It 
issues notes which are i-ecognised by Govern- 
ment as part of the regular currency of the 
Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay 
States. The London bankers of the corpora- 
tion are the London and County Banking 
Company,Ltd., of 31, Lombard Street, E.G. It 
has a paid-up capital of 10,000,000 dollars,, a 
reserve liability of proprietors of 10,000,000 
dollars, and a reserve fund of 21,000,000 dollars. 
The Hon. Mr. T. S. Baker is the acting 
manager of the Singapore branch. 

The Pinang branch was established in 1884, 
in small premises in Beach Street. The present 
palatial buildings, which are shown in the 
accompanying photographs, were first occupied 
in December, 1906. The manager is Mr. 
Cecil Guinness, a native of Melbourne. He 

an early age and received an English educa- 
tion at St. Xavier's Institution. Subsequently 
for a short time he traded at Amoy before 
entering the employment of the banking cor- 
poration which he has so long and so faithfully 
served. He is now in his fiftieth year. His 
son, Mr. See Tiong Wah, entered the Hong- 
kong bank in 1901 upon leaving school, and 
has made steady progress until now he is the 
assistant compradore, and, as such, is his 
father's right-hand man. 


A branch of this important Eastern banking 
company was iirst opened at Singapore in 
1859. At the offices in Battery Road a large 

cipal towns of France and other European 
countries, India, Japan, China, Australia, and 
the United States, was opened in 1905. The 
company has a capital of 36,000,000 francs 
(;^i,440,ooo), and a reserve fund of 19,440,000 
francs (;^776,ooo). The head office is in 
Paris, and the London bankers are the Union 
of London and Smith's Bank. Mr. V. Marsot 
is the acting manager at Singapore. 




Although well known in the East, the Hong- 
kong and Manila Yuen Sheng Exchange and 
Trading Company, Ltd., marine and fire- 
insurance underwriters, financiers, &c., have 


Tan Kiam Hwee (Manager). 

received his financial training in the Bank of 
Australasia, and joined his present employers 
in London in 1882. Two j'ears later he came to 
the East and served at several branches before 
taking np his present position in 1905. He is 
a member of the committee of the Chamber of 

Mr. See Ewe Boon. — In financial circles 
in Singapore, and indeed throughout the 
Straits Settlements, Mr. See Ewe Boon and 
his son, Mr. See Tiong Wah, are respected 
alike for their ability and integrity. Mr, See 
Ewe Boon, who since i8go has been the com- 
pradore of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank 
at Singapore, is the second son of the late Mr. 
See Eng Watt, a well-known Chinaman, who 
was born at Malacca and was the first Chinese 
British subject merchant in Amoy for a great 
number of years. The gentleman whose name 
is at the head of this sketch went to Pinang at 

volume of business is daily transacted. Like 
the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Cor- 
poration, it issues notes which form part of the 
standard currency of Malaya, and does big 
business at its several branches in the Feder- 
ated Malay States, The company (incorpor- 
ated by Royal charter) has a capital of ;^8oo,ooo, 
a reserve liability of proprietors of a similar 
amount, and a reserve fund of ;^i,075,ooo. The 
London office is at Hatton Court, Thread- 
needle Street, E.C., and the company's bankers 
are the Bank of England, the National Bank 
of Scotland, and the London City and Midland 
Bank, Ltd. Mr. E. M. Janion is the manager 
at Singapore. 


The Singapore branch of this banking 
company, which is represented in the prin- 

only recently extended their operations to 
Singapore. But within a few months the 
business has_ grown rapidly, and branches are 
to be opened shortly in the principal centres 
of trade in the Straits Settlements and the 
Federated Malay States. The firm's head- 
quarters are at Hongkong, and there are 
branches at Manila, Shanghai, and Amoy. 
The company was registered in 1904 under 
the Companies Ordinance of Hongkong with 
a capital of 2,000,000 dollars. The super- 
intendent of the company's agencies and 
branches and manager of the Singapore office 
is Mr. Tan Kiam Hwee, a man of wide 
experience, who, after trading for some years 
at Hongkong, joined the company and was 
soon given a place on the board of directors. 
He is also agent at Singapore for the Hip On 
Insurance, Exchange, and Loan Company of 






The Mercantile Bank of India, Ltd., was 
established fifty years ago under the style of 
the Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, 
London, and China. , It was reconstructed 
and given its present name in 1893. The 
Singapore branch of the firm occupies a 
valuable and central position in Raffles 
Square. It has been managed for the past 
twenty-two years by Sir George Sheppard 

and Karachi branches before taking 
managership at Pinang in the early 
1907. Mr. Peterkin is a member of 
local clubs. 

up the 
part of 
all the 


This Chinese concern, although only es- 
tablished in 1903, is now in a flourishing 
condition, and its services in providing ordinary 
banking facilities and arranging mortgages, 
loans, &c., are freely employed by its clientele, 
which is composed entirely of Chinese. Only 
local business is transacted, and the bank has 
no branches. The managing director is Mr. 
Lim Wee Fong. The Kwong Yik Banking 
Company was organised by Mr. Wong Ah 
Fook, a gentleman who has had a particularly 
interesting career. In 1851 he left Hongkong 
for Singapore in a Chinese open sailing boat, 
and on his arrival he worked in a Chinese 
carpenter's shop. Gradually he improved his 
position until he was able to commence 
business on his own account. ■ In a few 
years he became one of the most successful 
contractors in the settlements, and several 
important buildings in Singapore are perma- 
nent monuments of his skill. Turning his 
attention to Johore, he devoled his energies to 
assisting in opening up the countr5', and many 
of the buildings both in the town and country 
of Johore are of his construction. These 
services, extending over many years, were so 
highly appreciated by the Johore Government 
that in 1904 he was made S.'M.J. Mr. Wong Ah 
Fook is a large property and land owner both 
in Singapore and Johore, and on his properties 
in the latter territory are planted gambler, 
pepper, tapioca, rubber, &c. In order to facih- 
tate the payment of his numerous employees 
he has recently put in circulation his own 
paper currency, but this cannot be used any- 
where except upon his properties, and the 
notes only retain their full value to him. 



Murray, who was honoured with a knight- 
hood in igo6 in recognition of his sterling' 
qualities and integrity as a man of business 
and of his services to the Government as an 
unoffidal member of the Legislative Council. 
A branch of the bank was opened in Pinang 
in 1905. It has a large connection with both 
European and Chinese firms. The manager 
is Mr. Thomas Barclay Peterkin, who was 
horn in Nairn, N.B., and received his education 
at Edinburgh Academy. He entered the 
service of the Mercantile Bank in London in 
1H89, and came East in 1894. Since then he 
has been at Ihe Bombav, Calcutta, Colombo, 


WoxG An Fook (Founcltr) 



Besides being one of the largest shareholders 
in the Kwong Yik Bank, he is a director of the 
Swatow railways, and owns valuable tracts of 
land in the neighbourhood of Canton. Mr. 
Wong Ah Fook is well known as a generous 
contributor to deserving public institutions. 

Mr. Bouy Lin Chin. — The first Chinese 
bank established in Singapore was the Kwong 
Yik Bank, and to Mr. Bouy Lin Chin, the 
manager, belongs the distinction of having 
been the first Chinaman to manage a banking 
institution in the Straits Settlements. Under 
his direction the Kwong Yik Bank has become 
a prominent financial institution in the colony. 
Mr. Bouy Lin Chin's father was for several 
years a well-known contractor in Singapore, 
and among the works which he successfully 
carried out were several contracts for the 
Government, including the erection of the 

dollars (^^235,000), and it is now one of the 
leading Chinese financial institutions of the 
colony. The company carries on a general 
banking business in the settlements, and has 
dealings with all parts of the Far East. Fire 
and marine insurance and general agency 
transactions form an important part of its 
operations. The corporation is incorporated 
under the Companies Ordinance of Singapore. 
The directors are Messrs. Tan Teckjoon, other- 
wise Tan Ah Goh (managing director), Tan Swi 
Khi, Cheong Kwi Thiam, Tan Swi Phiau, Yeo 
Chang Boon, Leow Chia Heng, Yeo Piah Kwi, 
Tan Choon, Sim Khiok Choon, Yeow Lee 
Chiang, Teo Hoo Lai, and Lee Leng Hoon. 
The assistant manager is Mr, Ng Song Teng. 
The capital is divided into 20,000 shares of 
100 dollars each, and of these 19,880 are 
ordinary shares and 120 are founders' shares. 




flagstaff, in connection with which he was 
presented with a gold watch and chain and 
a testimonial expressing appreciation of his 
services. Mr. Bouy Lin Chin, in his early 
days, conducted a Chinese pawnshop very 
profitably, and upon his father's death suc- 
ceeded him in business. He is a member of 
the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and was 
formerly a member of the Po Leung Kuk, but 
the many calls upon his time compelled him to 
resign from that society. He resides at 530, 
North Bridge Road, and has four sons and two 


The need for an additional Chinese bank in 
Singapore led, in February, 1906, to the forma- 
tion of this company, with a capital of 2,000,000 

Mr. Tan Swi Phiau. — A prominent local 
Chinese business man is Mr. 'Tan Swi Phiau, 
who was born in the colony and educated in 
English and Chinese. He holds the respon- 
sible post of compradore to the Netherlands 
India Commercial Bank, as well as being one 
of the promoters and directors of the Sze Hai 
Tong Banking and Insurance Company, Ltd. 
Mr. Tan Swi Phiau subscribes largely to 
deserving local charities, and devotes much of 
his leisure to the service of public institutions. 
He was one of the founders of the Chinese 
Chamber of Commerce and of the Singapore 
Anti-Opium Society, and was the founder of 
the Teo Chew Tuan Moh School, an Anglo- 
Chinese school in Hill Street ; of the Kio Lock 
Club, and of a street mission society which is 
doing good work in Singapore. He is a share- 
holder in two important Chinese companies 
trading in pepper, gambler, and gutta percha. 

and also in two local Chinese newspapers. He 
resides at 42, High Street, Singapore. 


This corporation, the fiscal agents for the 
United States of America in China and the 
Philippines, established a branch in Prince 
Street "and Collyer Quay, Singapore, in 1902, 
where general and foreign banking business 
is transacted. The head office of the corpo- 
ration is in Wall Street, New York, and the 
London office is in Threadneedle Street. The 
London bankers are the National Provincial 
Bank of England, Ltd. The capital amounts to 
3,250,000 dollars, with a surplus of that amount. 
Mr. D. G. MacClennan is the manager of the 
Singapore branch, which is in a very satis- 
factory position. 

A branch was opened in Pinang on July i, 
1905, and a good connection has since been 
established. The manager is Mr. W. H. Rose, 
who had wide experience of finance and 
banking business in Scotland and has been 
twelve years in the East,. He is a member 
of all local clubs. 

Mr. Song Kim Pong. — The compradore 
of the International Banking Corporation at 
Singapore is Mr. Song Kim Pong, who was 
born in Singapore in 1865, and after completing 
his education, entered the service of the Hong- 
kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in 
1885 as assistant shroff. He held that position 
for sixteen years and gave entire satisfaction. 
In 1902 he was appointed chief cashier of the 
International Banking Corporation, and for 
about five years all the Chinese business done by 
this financial institution has passed through his 
hands. Mr. Song Kim Pong's father was a 
native of Malacca, who settled at Singapore 
many years ago and died at a ripe old age. 


A branch of this bank (Netherlands-Indian 
Discount Bank) was opened in Pinang on 
November 2, 1905, with premises at the corner 
of Beach Street and Church Street. The local 
manager is Mr. J. Stroobach, 

The bank was established at Batavia, Java, on 
November 5, 1857, and the head office is in 
that town. The paid up capital is 6,000,000 
francs (about ;£5oo,ooo), and there is a reserve 
fund of 687,500 francs (about £57,300). During 
the last forty-nine years the bank has paid an 
average dividend of 7J per cent, per annum, 
but since 1902, 8 per cent, per annum has been 
paid to the shareholders. 

The bank buys and sells and receives for 
collection bills of exchange, issues letters of 
credit on its branches and correspondents in 
the East, on the Continent, in Great Britain, 
America, and Australia ; and, in short, transacts 
banking business of every description. 

The home business is transacted by the 
bank's Amsterdam agency at 194-6 Singel, 
Amsterdam. The London agents are Parr's 
Bank, Ltd. There are agencies at Amsterdam, 
Soerabaija, Semarang, Padang, Cheribon, 
Weltevreden, Bandoeng, and Tandjong-Priok ; 
and correspondents at Banda, Benkoelen, Bli- 
tar, Buitenzorg, Djocjakarta, Indramajoe, Ke- 
diri. Macassar, Madioen, Malang, Medan, Me- 
nado, Pasoeroean, Pekalongan, Pontianak, Pro- 
bolinggo, Samarinda, Soekaboemi, Soerakarta, 
Tegal, Ternate, Tjilatjap, Bangkok, Bombay, 
Calcutta, Colombo, Hongkong, Madras, Pondi- 
chery, Rangoon, Saigon,' Shanghai, and other 
places. The agents of the bank at Singapore 
are the Banque de I'Indo-Chine and Messrs. 
Hooglandt & Co. 

Mr. Jacobus Stroobach was born at Uit- 
geest, Holland, in 1876. He received his edu- 
cation at Amsterdam and his financial training 







in the Amsterdam office of the Netherlands- 
Indian Discount Banli. In May, 1902, he 
went to Batavia, where he stayed a year, and 
afterwards toolc charge of the branch at Padang, 
Sumatra. In November, 1905, he opened a 
branch of the banlc at Pinang. He is a member 

and its business in Singapore was opened in 
1857. The paid-up capital of the society 
amounts to 45,000,000 guilders (;£3,7S0.oo")i 
with a reserve fund of 5,000,000 guilders 
(^417,000). The head agency of the society is 
in Batavia, and there are branches in Pinang, 

society transacts banking business of every 
description, buys and sells bills of exchange, 
issues letters of credit, opens current accounts, 
receives money on deposit, &c. The society 
first started business in Singapore as importers 
at Boat Quay, but having subsequently com- 


PiNAXG Premises. Manager and Staff. Ls'terior. 

of the Chamber of Commerce and of all local 


The head office of the Netherlands Trading 
Society was established in Amsterdam in 1824, 

Hongkong, Shanghai, Rangoon, Medan (Deli), 
Semarang, Sourabaya, Padang, Cheribon, 
Tegal, Pecalongan, Pasoeroean, Tjilatjap, 
Palembang, Kota Radja (Achin) and Bandjer- 
massin. There are correspondents at almost 
every other important port in the world. 
The London bankers of the society are the 
Union of London & Smith's Bank, Ltd. The 

menced operations as bankers, they removed 
to Finlayson Green, and later (in i888) to 
CoUyer Quay. In 1903 they purchased their 
present three-storey building, which covers 
10,000 square feet of ground. Eleven Euro- 
pean and seven Chinese cashiers, six Chinese 
and four Eurasian clerks, and several natives 
are employed. Mr. J. W. van der Stadt is 

I, Singapore Offices. 2. Manager's Room. 3. Interior of Banking Chamber. 



the local manager and agent, bnt when he Mr. H. Kerbert, whu is now on the board of there, and has been in the East twelve years, 

leaves the bank shortly he will be succeeded directors at Batavia. The present manager is having served the bank at Batavia and Soura- 

by Mr. L. Engel, lately manager in Hongkong. Mr. ^^U. C. Gori, wlm was born in Amsterdam. baya. He is a membei' of the Chamber of 

In 1889 a branch was opened at Pinang by He was educated and commercially trained Commerce and of all local clubs. 

Ske TloNG Waii ^Hiini,'koiig and Slian,Lihai Bank). So\<; Km POXG i Intcniatioiial Bank). 

BO'JY Lin Chin (Manai^er, Kwoni^ Yik Bank). 
Skow Ewe Lix (Dentsch-.\siatische Bank). See Ewe Boon (Hongkuny and Slianghai Bank). 







S might naturally be ex- 
pected in a country 
which is so largely 
peopled by Chinese, the 
opium habit prevails ex- 
tensively in the Straits 
Settlements and the 
Federated Malay States. 
From the earliest days 
of the British occupation of the settlements a 
considerable sum has been received by the 
Government from the letting or "farming" of 
the monopoly of the sale of opium, which at 
the present time yields between five and six 
million dollars a year, or one-half the total 
revenue of the colony. In the Federated 
Malay States, where the population, though 
rather larger, does not contain quite so many 
Chinese, the annual receipts from opium 
amount approximately to two and a half 
million dollars, or one-tenth of the total 
revenue. The disparity between these figures 
must not, however, be regarded as an indication 
of the relative extent to which opium is con- 
sumed in the two territories, for, as a matter of 
fact, the official returns show that the quantity 
of the drug imported into the Federated Malay 
States is three times as great as that imported 
into the Straits Settlements. The explanation 
of this apparent anomaly is to be found in the 
different methods adopted for dealing with the 

The farming system, which is the only 
system in operation in the settlements, confers 
upon the farmer the sole right to prepare and 
sell " chandu," or cooked opium ready for 
smoking. With the consent of the Government 
he issues licences to others to retail the 
preparation, and the interference of the 
Government is practically confined to seeing 
that the chandu is up to a certain standard of 
purity, and that it is not sold at a higher price 
than that fixed by the contract. A chest of fine 
Benares opium contains forty balls of the raw 
product. The price fluctuates from under 750 
dollars to over 1,200 dollars a chest — at the 
time of writing it stands at 800 dollars — and the 
resultant chandu fetches from 2,500 dollars to 
3,000 dollars, according to the limit fixed by the 
Government. It will thus be seen that the 
farmer has opportunities of making huge 
profits. It must not be forgotten, however, 
that he has to provide the whole preventive 
service to protect himself against smuggling, 
and that the risks are greater than many specu- 
lators would care to run. 

The primary object of the Government in 
establishing opium "farms" was not to raise 

revenue, but to restrict the sale of the drug. 
The proposal to inaugurate this system in 
Singapore was made by the Resident in 1820, 
but it had previously been adopted in the older 
settlements of Malacca and Pinang. 

In 1823 the opium farm at Singapore yielded 
25,796 dollars, and in the following year it 
produced more than double that sum, namely 
60,672 dollars. A comparison of these figures 
with those for 1905, when the opium revenue 

taining the actual amounts of the cheaper 
Indian and Persian opium used by the farmer 
in the preparation of chandu. For the years 
left blank no information is available. In each 
settlement, especially during the last two years, 
much smuggled opium not calculated in the 
return was consumed. 

The revenue derived from the drug in the 
three settlements during the same period was 
as follows : 



































190 1 

























for Singapore alone amounted to between 
three and four million dollars, shows the 
remarkable growth of the traffic and its 
importance from a financial point of view. 

A White Paper issued in the early part of 
1907, when the general question of the opium 
traffic was receiving the attention of the 
British Government, gives the probable mini- 
mum consumption of opium in the Straits 
Settlements for the ten years ending in 1905 
as under : 





























• 569 

— ■ 







1 669 










The above figures are stated in chests of 
Benares opium, each chest being estimated to 
contain forty balls of the drug manufactured 
into chandu. There are no means of ascer- 


The increase in consumption and revenue 
down to 1903 is due partly to the growth of 
the Chinese population, and, more particularly, 
to the prosperity of the colony, which reached 
its highest point in that year. The fall in con- 
sumption and rise in revenue for the years 
1904 and 1905 are attributable to an advance 
in the price at which the farmers were then 
allowed to sell chandu to the public. This 
advance was from 2.15 dollars to 3 dollars per 
tahil (ij oz. avoirdupois), and it tempted the 
farmers to offer more for the monopoly than 
they subsequently received. As a result they 
lost heavily, in spite of the fact that they were 
granted a rebate of 1,035,000 dollars by the 
Government. The increase of price gave a 
great impetus to smuggling and to the con- 
sumption of morphia. 

When the British Government took over the 
Federated Malay States, the opium traffic there 
was treated in a different manner from that of 
the Straits Settlements. The tin miners, who 
furnished the bulk of the revenue, objected to 
the power which might be wielded by a 
monopolist who was also a miner, and stated 
that unless the coolies could buy opium cheaply 
they would first riot and then leave the country. 
The British Residents also opposed the Straits 
system, and the following method was decided 
upon : Each State, for the purpose of these 
revenue farms, was divided into two districts — 
line a coast "farm," where there wei^e no 
mines, and into which it was exceedingly easy 



to smuggle opium ; and the other embracing 
the rest of the country, whicli included all the 
mines. The coast " farm " was let and worked 
on similar lines to the Straits Settlements 
" farms," except that the price of chandu was 
fixed at a much lower figure than that charged 
in the colony, and a duty was levied by the 
Government on all opium imported, whether 
by the farmer or by anybody else. The coast 
districts were, and still are, of much less im- 
portance than the interior, and they contain 
comparatively a small population. Except 
within their limited area any one could import 
raw opium on paying the Government a duty, 
which was first fixed at 7 dollars a ball (280 
dollars a chest). The Government licensed all 
retail shops, whilst mine-owners and other 
large employers of Chinese labour imported 
opium, converted it into chandu, and dispensed 
it to their own employees. Eventually the 
Government in some of the States "farmed" 
the collection Qf the opium duty, and, while 
that policy made no difference to the consiuTiers, 
it enabled the Government to calculate with 
certainty on the receipts fi-om this source. 

With very slight modifications the method 
outlined above is still in vogue throughout the 
Federated Malay States. The import duty on 
opium, however, has been periodically in- 
creased. In 1896 it was fixed at 320 dollars a 
chest, in 1898 at 480 dollars, and in 1903 at 
560 dollars, at which figure it has since re- 
mained. In Pahang the duty is only 440 
dollars. It will be seen that opium can be sold 
in the Federated Malay States at a much lower 
price than in the Straits Settlements, where 
the tenders of the farmers are equivalent to an 
import duty of at least 3,500 dollars a. chest. 

The following tables show the total revenue 
derived from opium by the Government of the 
States of Perak, Selangor, and Negri Sambilan, 
and the number of chests of opium imported 
during 1905, 1906, and the first half of 1907 : 



No article on the opium traffic of Malaya 
would be complete without reference to the 


Number of 

Duty at .$560 
per Chest. 

Forest Share at 
.$1 per Ball. 

Balance to be 

Credited to 

Customs Revenue. 




Negri Sambilan ... 

















Negri Sambilaji ... 














Negri Sambilan ... 

1, 144 













In Pahang the opium revenue is farmed out 
under the General Farm, and it is, therefore, 
not possible to give separate figures for it. 

The total revenue from the opium and spirit 
farm and from licences for opium and spirit 
shops in Pahang during 1907 was estimated at 
123,756 dollars. 

Anti-Opium Movement. After years of apparent 
lethargy there is now evidence of great activity 
amongst those who desire to see the opium 
traffic brought to an end. First came the 
statement of Mr. John Morley, Secretary of 
State for India, in May, 1906, that "if China 
wanted seriously, and in good faith, to restrict 

the consumption of opium in China, the Gov- 
ernment of India and his Majesty's Govern- 
ment would agree to it, even though it might 
cost them some sacrifice," This was followed 
by the House of Commons passing a unanimous 
resolution : "That this House reaffirms ils 
conviction that the Indo-Chinese opium trade 
is morally indefensible, and requests his 
Majesty's Government to take such steps as 
may be necessary for bringing it to a speedy 
close." Thus encouraged, the various anti- 
opium societies redoubled their efforts, and 
new societies were formed in different parts 
of the East. On September 20th the Chinese 
Emperor published his famous edict forbidding 
the use of opium throughout his empire at the 
expiration of ten years. On his own initiative, 
the Consul-General for China at Singapore, 
Mr. Sun Sze Ting, having first obtained the 
cordial approval of his Excellency the Governor, 
started a hospital for opium smokers, under 
the superintendence of Dr. S. C. Yin. This 
philanthropic act elicited praise from all 
quarters, and over 16,000 dollars were soon 
contributed towards the beneficent project. 
But at the most the home cannot receive more 
than sixty patients a month, and it has, there- 
fore, been with feelings of great relief and 
satisfaction that the supporters of the anti- 
opium movement have received favourable 
reports of numerous cures effected in the case 
of confirmed opium smokers by the decoction 
made from a Malayan plant. 

An Anti-Opium Society was started at 
Selangor in September, 1906, and others were 
formed at Ipoh and Pinang in the following 
month. The first Anti-Opium Conference for 
the Straits Settlements and the Federated 
Malay States was held at Ipoh in March, 1906, 
and was attended by 3,000 people. Among 
many resolutions carried, the most important 
were the following : 

" That this Conference, consisting of repre- 
sentative delegates from all parts of 
British Malaya, whilst gratefully acknow- 
ledging the generous assistance of tt^e 
British Government and of the Colonial 
and Federated Malay States Governments 



to the movement against the use of 
opium, is of opinion that more active 
measures are now demanded, and that 
the time has arrived for the abolition of 
all opium farms and the substitution for 
them of Government depots and complete 
Government control. 

' That this conference is of opinion that 
compulsory registration of all opium- 
smokers, as in Formosa and the Philip- 
pines, be enforced by law by a certain 
day, and that after that date no further 
persons be registered as opium-smokers. 

'That it is the patriotic duty of all Chinese 
and the duty of all friends of China to 
denounce the use of opium as hostile to 
the progress and destructive of the best 
energies of the Chinese nation. 

arising from the practice. The Hon. Jolin 
Anderson was nominated as Chairman, the 
other members of the Commission being the 
Hon. Tan Jiak Kim, the Hon. D. J. Galloway, 
M.D., the Rev. W.F. Oldham, D.D., Mr.W.R.C. 
Middleton, M.A., M.B., CM., and Mr. E. F. H. 
Edlin. The Commission was invested with 
powers to examine witnesses on oath and to 
call for the production of any books and 
documents bearing upon the subject. 

On behalf of an anti-opium deputation which 
waited on the Secretary of State for the Colonies 
in August, 1907, Dr. Connolly and Dr. Alexander, 
from the Straits Settlements and Malaya, urged 
that the time was ripe for introducing reforms 
to restrict and eventually to suppress the opium 
traffic. Mr. Winston Churchill, the Under 
Secretary, who replied in the absence of Lord 

School. Upon leaving this institution he was 
given a position in the Chartered Mercantile 
Bank of India, London, and China, and after 
working there zealously for eight years, he 
decided in 1887 to widen the scope of his 
experience by travel. Accordingly he went to 
Calcutta, and during a two years' stay there 
mastered the details of the produce business. 
In 1889 he came to Singapore and became 
connected with the Opium and Spirit Farm. 
With that great organisation he was continn- 
ously associated until igo6, except for an interval 
of three years (1898- igoo) when the farm 
contract fell into other hands. Like most 
Chinese business men, he is careful not to keep 
"all his eggs in one basket." Since December, 
1901, he has contracted with that mammoth 
undertaking, the Tanjong Pagar Dock 


" That Government be petitioned to exercise 
more restrictive action over the opium 
traffic, by raising the duty on opium, 
increasing the fees for chandu shop 
licences, and refusing to increase the 
number of existing licences. 
'■ That Government be requested to order 
that systematic instruction to warn youth 
of the evil effects of opium be introduced 
into all Government and Government- 
aided schools." 
A significant feature of the Anti-Opium 
Movement in Malaya is that in most places it 
was inaugurated by the Chinese themselves, and 
has been vigorously continued by them almost 
entirely with Chinese capital. 

Bv Letters Patent dated July 19, 19C7, a 
Commission- was appointed to iuquh-e into the 
extent to which opium-smoking prevails in the 
Straits Settlements, and to advise the Govern- 
ment as to the steps which should be taken "to 
minimise and eventually to eradicate the evils " 

Elgin, promised careful consideration of the 
facts presented, and said he felt that the present 
position could not be allowed to continue. The 
members of the deputation must not assume 
that the Government was indifferent, but it 
was only possible to go step by step in the 
Crown colonies with the new policy adopted 
with reference to India and China. 

The importance of the financial issues at 
stake in the suggested suppression of the opium 
traffic throughout the British Empire may be 
realised from the fact that for the year 1904-5 
the revenue yielded by opium in India exceeded 


Mr. Tan Kheam Hock is one of many able 
Chinese business men who, in the course of 
their commercial career, have migrated from 
Pinang to Singapore. Born at Pinang in 1862, 
he received his education at the Pinang Free 

Company, to supply coolie labour. Some 
idea of what this entails may be gathered 
when it is stated that the wharf frontage of the 
docks is over a mile and a half in length, and 
as many as 2,500 coolies are permanently 
employed there. Mr. Tan Kheam Hock, who 
is also connected with the Perak General 
Farms, takes a great interest in the Straits and 
Federated Malay States Government Medical 
School, and has a seat on the committee of 
management. He is a member of the Society 
of Arts, London. He married the sixth 
daughter of the late Mr. Foo Tye Sin, J. P., 
Municipal Commissioner, of Pinang, and has 
six sons and four daughters. 


The genlleman whose name heads this 
sketch is the present director of that important 
Singapore monopoly, the Opium and Spirit 
F.irm. The second son of the late Mr. Khaw 



(See p. 156,) 



Sim Khim, he was born in Pinang in 1869 and 
received his education at the Free School there. 
Upon leaving school at eighteen he entered 
the employment of the Pinang firm of Koe 
Guan, shipowners, with whom he remained 
for several years, gaining steady promotion. 
Eventually he left to accept service under the 
Siamese Government, in which his family have 
held high positions for many years. After eight 
years' experience in Siam, Mr. Khaw Joo Choe 
returned to Pinang and became manager for 
his old employers, Messrs. Koe Guan. This 
i-esponsible position he occupied for three years, 
when he took over the Monthon Puket (Siamese 
Western State) Opium Farm (Chop Ban Huat 
Bee), holding the monopoly for two terms of 
three years each. In the latter part of 1904 he 
came to Singapore and was appointed director 
of the Singapore Opium Farm (Chop Sin Chin 
Ho Bee, 1904-6). When the lease of that farm 
expired at the end of three years, he was 
appointed director of the present farm (Chop 
Guan Hock Hin, 1907-g). 

Mr. Wee Kay Poh, son of Wee Seoh Kee and 
Low Ong Neoh, was born in 187 1 and educated 
at Raffles Institution for five years. On leaving 
school he was apprenticed to Messrs. A. L. 
Johnston & Co. Later on he was with Messrs. 
Stachehn, Sthalkneet & Co. and Messrs. 
Brinkmann & Co. In 1892 he commenced busi- 
ness on his own account. He is a landowner 
and at present a managing partner of the 
Singapore Opium and Liquors Farm (1907-9). 
When twenty years of age he married Khoo 
Liang Neoh, daughter of the well-known 
Chinese gentleman, Mr. Khoo Boon Seng. He 
has two sons, Wee Kim Hock and Wee Poh 
Soon, and one daughter. His residence is 
" Benlomond," Xo. 124, River Valley Road. 


Mr. Wee Kay Siang, one of the partners in 
the Singapore Opium Farm, was born in the 
colony in 1858 and received his education at 
Raffles Institution. He now holds a high 
position in Chinese commercial circles, being a 
director of the Kwong Yik Banking Company 
as well as a partner in the Opium Farm. He 
resides at " Bienvenue," Thompson Road, and 
has two sons — Wee Kah Tiak and Wee Kim 
Kiat — and four daughters. 


Of the Singapore opium-farmers, Mr. Chi 
Tze Ching is among the best known. A native 
of Canton, he came to Singapore as a tr:;der 
when only sixteen years of age and remained 
for some fifteen years. At the end of that time 
he left for Labuan, and was an opium-farmer 
there for three years, after which he engaged 
in pawnbroking, and in opium, spirit, and 
gambling farming. He had also a Customs 
Farm in British Xorth Borneo, and was a 
contractor for the supply of provisions to the 
coolies employed on the Dutch tobacco planta- 
tion. He owns businesses at Kudat and 
Singapore and mines in the Federated Malay 
States. Mr. Chi Tze Ching is a naturalised 
British subject and a member of the Chinese 
Advisory Board. 

Mr. Khoo Siew Jin, of Pinang, is twenty- 
three years of age, but has already accomplished 
more than many men who are twice or three 
times that age. He is the eldest son of Mr. 
Khoo Hun Yeang, a well-known Pinang and 
Province Wellesley merchant and planter, and 
was born in the Northern Settlement in 1884. 
He received a good Chinese education in 
Pinang, and when his parents came to 
Singapore in 1898, he entered the .^nglo- 
Chinese boarding school, and during the next 
four years acquired a valuable knowledge of 
English subjects. In 1902 he went to Sarawak 
as an assistant in the Opium, Spirit, and Gamb- 

ling Farm there, and at the end of two years' 
service in that capacity was appointed general 
manager of the farms, although he was only 
twenty years of age at the time. When the 
farm was re-let, in 1907, Mr. Khoo Siew Jin 
and his brothers were the successful tenderers, 
and they now control that important monopoly. 
Mr. Khoo Siew Jin is married to a daughter of 
the late Mr. Quah Mah Tek, and has one son. 
He owns considerable house property in Singa- 
pore, Pinang, and Sarawak, and is on the 
committee of the Sarawak Merchants' Club. 
His father, Mr. Khoo Hun Yeang, was born and 
educated in Pinang. Upon the completion of 
his scholastic career he took charge of a very 
large coconut plantation in Province Wellesley 
which belonged to his father. This property 
he ran successfully for ten years ; tjjen, re- 
turning to Pinang, he joined the Opium and 
Spirit Farm there, in which his father was a 
partner and manager. Six years later he 
commenced business on his own account in 
Pinang under the chop Chin Lee & Co., and 
built up a big business as a tin and general 
merchant, which is still in existence. In 1899 
his business ability was recognised by the 
Singapore opium and spirit farmers, who 
made him the managing partner. From 1902 
until 1906, when he resigned, he was managing 
director of the farm. He is married and has 
eight sons. His father, Mr. Khoo Thean Tek, 
was born in Pinang in 1826 and received a 
Chinese education. He carried on sugar and 
coconut planting in Province Wellesley, and 
traded in Pinang itself under the chops Khoon 
Ho and Chin Bee for many years. He then 
went to Perak and commenced tin mining on 
a large scale, and held large interests in the 
Pinang and Hongkong Opium Farms. His 
was a well-known name throughout Malaya 
and the Straits Settlements, and he was highly 
respected. His decease took place in 1891, 
and he left four sons and four daug